This Day in Hogan History: Hogan conquers Colonial a 4th time
By: Mark Baron
On May 24, 1953 Ben Hogan shot a final round 67 to win the Colonial Invitational at the Colonial Country Club in Ft. Worth Texas, five strokes ahead of Cary Middlecoff to earn $5,000.00.
1953 was a magical year for Mr. Hogan, having won the two previous “official” tournaments he entered (the Masters and the Pan American Open). He went on to win the US Open and the Open Championship later that year, giving him a perfect five wins out of the five tournaments he entered, which included three major championships (known as the Triple Crown). His only blemish, if you could call it that, came at the “Unofficial” Greenbrier Pro-Am. He tied for third, four shots behind Sam Snead.
This was the fourth of five victories for Ben at the Colonial Invitational. Prior to the tournament sportswriters were calling it the “Colonial National Second Place Invitation.”
Hogan received special treatment at the tournament including teeing off in the last group for the benefit of the spectators. He was quoted: “I’m tired of going off last all the time. Every time I looked up to line up a putt, all I could see were footprints and cleat marks. I know it is good for the gallery and crowd, but I’m in these tournaments for something besides drawing a crowd. I simply want a fair break.”
During the fourth round the hot dry winds blew hard, but Hogan shot the lowest score of the tournament, 67 to win by five.
During the presentation ceremony when handed the trophy, Hogan joked with Marvin Leonard, the owner of the club and longtime friend: “Do I get to keep it this time?” To which Marvin replied, “No. But you already own it.” Second place Cary Middlecoff after receiving his $2,500 second place check said, “I feel honored to play in the Hogan Benefit here once again. Maybe, one of these days, Ben will be too old to play in this tournament and the rest of us will have a chance.”
The very next day Ben wired in his entry to the British Open.
The very next day after that on the 26th, Ben was invited to the MacGregor Golf Ball Factory to test out their new golf ball. They showed him all the technology and tests involved in their new MacGregor Tourney. The company President, Henry Cowen asked him what he thought of the ball, to which Hogan replied that he was not happy with it. Cowen said, “I guess you can see we’re doing everything possible to ensure the high quality of our ball. Take that driving machine; you can’t get more advanced than that.” Hogan replied, “Then I recommend you enter the #%$*&@! (expletive deleted) driving machine in the U. S. Open.”
Pictured is Marvin Leonard presenting the trophy to Ben for winning the 1953 Colonial Invitational.
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