This Day in Hogan History:
BEN WINS 1946 DALLAS OPEN
By: Mark Baron – On September 29, 1946, Ben Hogan shot a final round 73 to win the Dallas Invitational by two strokes over Herman Keiser and Paul Runyan at the Brook Hollow Golf Club in Texas, earning $2,000. This victory gave him the honor of being the first and only person to win both Dallas / Ft. Worth events in the same season, having won the Colonial Invitational in May. Ben correctly predicted prior to the match that the winning score would be four over par, 284.
In 1968, the tournament would be named the Byron Nelson Classic.
This was Ben’s fourth victory in a row, giving him a total win for the season of $37,877.
In the first round, an estimated crowd of over 2,000 watched Ben shoot an even par 70 to finish in a tie for second place one stroke behind a former PGA Champion, Vic Ghezzi. Ben had a chance to tie for the lead but bogied the 18th hole. The defending champion, Sam Snead shot a 78 to fall out of contention. Don Cherry made a hole in one on the 175-yard fourth hole.
In the second round, Ben shot a one-under par 69 to take a one shot lead over Harry Todd. He was the only person in the field to have a bettered par at the halfway point of the tournament.
In the third round, Ben shot a three-over par 73, but still maintained a one-stroke lead over Buck White. Hogan shot an even par 35 on the outward nine with one birdie on the fifth hole as his approach shot landed six inches from the hole and one bogie on the seventh hole when he hit over the green and had to chip back, but missed the putt. Even with that bogie, Ben Hogan would later say that the seventh hole is one of his favorites in America.
In the fourth round, Ben shot a 73 to win the tournament by two strokes over Herman Keiser and Paul Runyan. A strong north wind made the playing conditions very difficult. He was out in two over par with a double bogie on the seventh (still one of his favorite holes).
It was during this tournament that Tony Zale knocked out Rocky Graziano in the sixth round of a bloody boxing match to retain the middleweight title. Graziano floored Zale earlier in the bout, but Zale, his face a bloody mess, came back with a lightning left hook to knock down Graziano for the second time at one minute and 43 seconds into the round. Rocky was unable to stand back up.
Mark Baron is a Ben Hogan expert who posts daily about the legend. Check out Mark's huge following on the Ben Hogan Facebook Page and stay tuned for special Hogan anniversaries for Mark's insight. Check out the page here: www.facebook.com/benhogangolf