This Day in Hogan History: Hogan & Demaret… Masters of Four-Ball
By: Mark Baron: From June 24 – 27, 1948 Ben Hogan teamed with Jimmy Demaret to win the Inverness Four-Ball Tournament at the Inverness Country Club in Toledo, Ohio, earning $3,000 ($1,500 each). Both Hogan and Demaret won an additional $250 for having the lowest score in any single round and another $250 for having the most birdies throughout the tournament. In this tournament, eight pairs of golfers played seven rounds over a span of four days against every other team. The team with the most winning holes won the tournament.
The entire first round was played in a rain storm. Hogan/Demaret scored a 3-up victory over Dr. Cary Middlecoff and Jim Ferrier to finish the day in second place as Herman Keiser and Clayton Heafner won their match 5-up over Lloyd Mangrum and Dick Metz. E. J. “Dutch” Harrison and Bob Hamilton shot the best round of the day, a 63, but only came away with a 2-up victory over Johnny Palmer and “Skip” Alexander. Bobby Locke and Ed Furgol also scored a 2-up victory over Chick Harbert and Vic Ghezzi.
In the second round Hogan/Demaret defeated Mangrum/Metz 1-up.
In the third round Hogan/Demaret defeated Locke/Furgol 3-up. The victory gave them a total of seven points good enough for a three point advantage over the second place team of Harrison/Hamilton
In the fourth round Hogan/Demaret defeated Harrison/Hamilton 6-up, shooting a team score of 60. Hogan had seven birdies and Demaret had four. Mangrum/Metz won 3-up over Palmer/Alexander. Middlecoff/Ferrer defeated Locke/Furgol 1-up. Harbert/Ghezzi won their match 4-up over Heafner/Keiser.
In the fifth round Hogan/Demaret defeated Palmer/Alexander 4-up, once again shooting a team score of 60. This time, Demaret had seven birdies and Hogan had four. With this victory the Hogan/Demaret team took a 12 point lead over their closest rivals, Harbert/Ghezzi. With 90 of the 126 holes completed Hogan/Demaret were 41 under par, while the last place team Palmer/Alexander were 27 under. Mangrum/Metz won 4-up over Harrison/Hamilton. Middlecoff/Ferrer defeated Harbert/Ghezzi 1-up. Locke/Furgol won their match 2-up over Heafner/Keiser.
In the sixth round Hogan/Demaret finished all square with Heafner/Keiser.
In the seventh and final round Hogan/Demaret made their only bogey of the entire tournament on the very last hole to lose their match to Harbert/Ghezzi by one. Over 10,500 people showed up during the last round to watch the events, paying $3.10 each.
This was the fourth time the Hogan / Demaret team won this event and it was the third time in a row having won in 1941, 1946 and 1947. It was their final title together because Hogan announced that he would not be back next year and that he was curtailing his golf schedule by eliminating the “longer events.” Quoted: “I’m not retiring for I plan to play golf all my life. But these tournaments are quite a grind, especially the long ones.” Asked if he meant that he might not defend his US Open and PGA Championship he replied, ”I haven’t made up my mind about that.”
This victory was the second of six in a row for Hogan, which tied the second longest winning streak in professional golf.
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