This Day in Hogan History:
INAUGURAL GLENDALE OPEN INVITATIONAL VICTORY 1948
By: Mark Baron – On October 17, 1948 Ben Hogan shot a final round 64 to win the inaugural Glendale Open Invitational in California at the Oakmont Country Club by 2 strokes over Lloyd Mangrum earning $2,450. This was Ben’s final tournament he played in 1948, appropriately winning as he did nine times previous that year.
In the first round Ben shot a three under par 69 to finish in third place two strokes behind Lloyd Mangrum who shot an opening nine 36 and an inward nine of a 30, one of the lowest nine hole scores on record, which included four birdies and an eagle on the 18th hole with a beautiful approach sot that went up 12 feet from the cup. He sank the 12-footer as hundreds of the day’s gallery of 3,800 applauded.
In the second round Ben shot a 68 to finish in a tie for second with Lloyd Mangrum two strokes back of Skip Alexander who shot a course record 65.
In the third round Ben shot a two over par 74 which found him hitting a wayward drive on the eighth hole, his ball lodging in a tree some 15 feet above the ground and taking three shots to get out of a sand trap on the 14th hole. Lloyd Mangrum shot a two under par 70 to take the lead by four strokes over Hogan.
In the final round Ben shot a course record 64, making eight birdies with only 24 putts, beating the previous record of 65 set in the second round by Skip Alexander. Lloyd Mangrum held a four shot lead going into the final round, but shot two over par on the outward nine. He came back with a four under par 32 on the inward nine, shooting a total score of 70, two strokes behind Ben’s winning total.
Ben led the yearly money race by $1,209 over Lloyd Mangrum, with $34,338 to Hogan’s $35,547. Mangrum said he would compete in the Miami Open in December to attempt to win the title, but he finished in ninth place earning only $415. Ben also ended up winning his third Vardon Trophy for the lowest scoring average on the tour.
This victory extended Ben’s winning streak in Southern California to six that dated back to January of 1946. Tournaments he won included the 1946 Los Angeles Open at Riviera Country Club, the 1946 Golden State Open at California Country Club in Los Angeles, the 1947 Los Angeles Open at the Riviera Country Club, the 1948 Los Angeles Open at the Riviera Country Club, the 1948 United States Open at the Riviera Country Club and this 1948 Glendale Open.
This was his last tournament Ben played in 1948. He was quoted as saying, “I got a new home down in Texas that I haven’t seen since I bought it. I’m going there now and get acquainted.”
Everything seemed to be going Mr. Hogan’s way at the end of 1948. He won 10 tournaments, the money title and the Vardon Trophy. The sales of his recently published book, “Power Golf” were going through the roof with over 25,000 copies sold in less than three weeks. But his luck was about to change. He played in only four more tournaments before his near fatal head on collision with a Greyhound bus in February of 1949.
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