This Day in Hogan History: Ben wins at Colonial…again
By: Mark Baron
On May 18, 1947 Ben Hogan shot a final round 69 to win the Colonial Invitational at the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth Texas, one stroke ahead of Toney Penna to earn $3,000.00. Ben’s four day total was 279, the same score he shot the previous year to win this tournament for consecutive years. This was the second of five victories for Ben at this event.
In the first round Ben took the lead with a 68. Lawson Little was the only other person to break par with a 69.
In the second round Ben shot a two over par 72 with 16 pars and two bogies, to fall one stroke back of co-leaders Vic Ghezzi and Johnny Palmer.
In the third round Ben shot an even par 70 but had a six stroke advantage over Penna after nine holes. His putter faltered and they ended up in a tie to start the final round.
In the fourth round Ben and Toney Penna, both tied for the lead at the beginning of the round ended up in a shooting match. They remained tied through six holes. On the seventh, Penna landed in a bunker and was 15 feet from the pin on his second shot, but missed the putt to go one over par. Hogan sank an 18 foot putt for a birdie two on the eighth hole for a two shot lead. Hogan never relinquished the lead thanks to two putts that Penna missed by inches. He missed a five footer on hole 17 and a 40 footer on 18.
It was during this round that the Americans defeated the British team at the Walker Cup 8 to 4. The British team held the cup since 1938. Playing for the Americans were Frank Stranahan, Smiley Quick, Ted Bishop, Frank Krammer, Jr., Skee Riegel, Willie Turnesa, Dick Chapman and Harvey Ward. Playing for the British Team were Jimmie Wilson, Charlie Stowe, Joe Carr, Ronnie White, Leonard Crawley, Gerald Mecklem, Cecil Ewing and Percy Lucas.
Ben won this tournament five times, in 1946, 47, 52, 53 and 59. He finished in the top ten 16 out of the 22 times he participated. There were a couple of reasons why Ben played so well here. The Colonial was held in his hometown of Ft. Worth and the sponsor of the tournament, Marvin Leonard was Ben’s mentor, good friend and financed Ben in the tour during his lean early years.
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