This Day in Hogan History: Ben Hogan wins the 1952 Colonial Invitational
By: Mark Baron
On May 25, 1952 Ben Hogan shot a final round three under par 67 to win the Colonial Invitational at the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth Texas, by four strokes over Lloyd Mangrum to earn $4,000.00
In the first round Ben shot a four over par 74 to finish six strokes behind the leaders Raymond Gafford of Dallas and amateur Joe Conrad. It was the first time an amateur ever led this tournament.
In the second round Ben shot a tournament low 67 to get himself back into contention. Gafford shot a two-under par 68 to take a three shot lead over second place Cary Middlecoff and five strokes over Hogan
The third round and fourth rounds were contested on the same day due to rain postponing the third round. Ben shot rounds of 71 and 67 to win the event. But the real story was the complete collapse of Ray Gafford who shot a third round 69 to take a six stroke lead at the beginning of the fourth round, but then shot a ten-over par 80 to finish in a tie for fourth. After the round Hogan told Gifford’s tear-choked wife “I didn’t win that one. Ray gave it away.” He told the press “Raymond is a better golfer than that. The turning point came when he tried a short chip on No. 4 and hit behind the ball, sending it only a few feet. It unnerved him and he couldn’t do anything right after that.”
Pictured is a larger than life bronze statue of Hogan staring down the fairway after, we can assume, another one of his perfect drives. The statue is located at Colonial Country Club on the patio overlooking the 18th green.
Pictured is Ben Hogan’s official Scottish royal tartan plaid jacket awarded to the victorious golfers of the Colonial Invitational and top committee chairmen on display in the Ben Hogan Room at the USGA Museum in Far Hills, New Jersey.
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