1948: Ben Hogan wins the Denver Open Invitational Championship by one stroke over Fred Haas, Jr

Pictured is Ben Hogan on August 17, 1948 during a practice round at the Denver Open at Wellshire Country Club. Ben went on to win this tournament for his sixth win in a row, which ties the third longest winning streak in professional golf.

This Day in Hogan History:



By: Mark Baron – On August 23, 1948, Ben Hogan  shot a final round 76 to win the Denver Open Invitational Championship by one stroke over Fred Haas, Jr., held at the Wellshire Country Club.  This was the sixth win in a row for Hogan, having previously won the U. S. Open, Inverness Round Robin (with Jimmy Demaret), Motor City Open, Reading Open and the Western Open, which remains a tie for the third longest winning streak in professional golf.

Pictured is Ben totaling up his final round scorecard at the 1948 Denver Open.

When Ben finished his round he was three strokes behind Hass with only two holes left for him to play.  Thinking his four over par final round score wouldn’t be good enough to win, he left the premises after finishing his round.  To his surprise, Haas blew up on the final holes and Hogan ended up winning the tournament, but he was not present to receive his trophy or winner’s check.   The presentation ceremony went something like this:

The Mayor of Denver, Quigg Newton addressing the 3,000 plus attendees at the awards ceremony:  “And now, I’d like to present our new champion with a check for $2,150 – ladies and gentlemen, Ben Hogan!”  After a long pause “Ben, are you here?”  After another long pause the runner up Fred Haas, Jr. came up to accept his second place check.  The Rocky Mountain News wrote about the incident the next day:

“Hogan’s walkout climaxed a long series of unpleasant incidents in which the Hershey prima donna let one and all know that he is good – and that he knows it.  He refused flatly to appear in Wednesday’s clinic.  Asked by a respectful radio reporter to say a few words to listeners, he refused flatly.  With oaths, he refused a most reasonable request of photographers who sought to snap him along with the obliging Haas and cooperative Cary Middlecoff.  But it was noted that Hogan – the same Hogan – was running after and pleading with photographers to picture him alongside some noted army brass in the gallery.  He refused a seven-year-old an autograph, saying “Go away.””

Hogan denied the accusations in the article explaining: “I had to catch a 5:30 train to Salt Lake City.  When I finished, I didn’t think I had a chance to win – but as I entered my hotel my wife said the radio reported I had won.  I immediately called the tournament headquarters and asked Mr. Dawson to accept my apologies.  He said he would tell the other officials – but apparently my message went astray.”

Mark Baron

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



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