This Day in Hogan History: The Reno Open Invitational
By: Mark Baron – On September 6, 1948 Ben Hogan shot a final round 68 to win the Reno Open Invitational at Washoe County Golf Course by 3 strokes over Lloyd Mangrum and Dick Metz, winning $3,500 for first prize. Over 160 pro and amateur golfers participated in the event.
In the first round Ben and amateur Frank Stranahan shot five-under-par 67’s to tie for lead by one shot over Lloyd Mangrum, Clayton Heafner, Dick Metz and Lawson Little.
In the second round, Ben shot what he described as “the hardest 69 I ever made.” He finished the round tied with Lloyd Mangrum and Dick Metz with Ellsworth Vines one stroke back. Ben went out on the first nine even par, but came back with three birdies by virtue of sinking long putts.
He shot a 65 in the third round tying the course record for a three round total of 201, 15 strokes under par, giving him a three stroke lead over Lloyd Mangrum. Hogan’s had nine birdies, including four in a row from the 11th to the 14th, with very efficient putting, but his driving was even better hitting nearly every fairway and approach shots close to the hole.
At the start of the final round, Ben held a three shot lead on the field and shot a four under par 68 to take the victory by two strokes over Lloyd Mangrum. It looked as if Mangrum might catch up to Hogan shooting a 32 on the outward nine, but came back with a 35.
Even with Hogan’s victory, Lloyd Mangrum still held on the annual money earnings lead over Hogan with $32,484 to Hogan’s $31,384.
After the tournament Hogan was quoted as saying: “I never worked so hard in my life. Some days playing golf is an awful business.” Rumors were persistent that Ben was going to retire from full time golf, to which Lloyd Mangrum was quoted as saying, “I think it goes without saying that all members of the Professional Golfers Association will be very happy when Hogan decides to retire and let someone else win a tournament once in a while.”
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