1/16/1949: Ben Hogan won the Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament, earning $2,000.00

Crosby
Pictured is Ben Hogan as he hands his winning score card to scorer Terry Malan at the Bing Crosby Invitational tournament at Pebble Beach, California on Jan. 16, 1949. He carded 208 for 54 holes. At right is Leo Durocher, manager of the New York Giants baseball team

This Day in Hogan History

On January 16, 1949 Ben Hogan shot a final round 70 to win the Bing Crosby Pro-Am tournament, earning $2,000.00. The event was a three day, 54-hole tournament played at Cypress Point Club, Monterey Country Club and the Pebble Beach Country Club in Monterey California.

He earned an additional $500.00 for placing third in the Pro-Am best-ball competition teaming with Johnny Dawson of Los Angeles, the defending champions in the Pro-Am division, having won by two strokes the previous year over the teams of Chandler Harper/Warren Keeley, Bobby Locke/Frank Stranahan and Lloyd Mangrum/Bob Simmons.

Prior to the event starting, Ben played in a practice round at Cypress Point and shot a 63.

In the first round Ben shot a 35 – 35 for a two under par 70 at Cypress Point. Bill Nary shot a 66 for the first round lead two strokes ahead of Joe Brown and Sip Alexander. Lloyd Mangrum shot a 71. Sam Snead shot a 74 and Byron Nelson finished ten strokes back with a 76.

In the second round Amateur Champion Frank Stranahan shot a 66 to take a one stroke lead over Ben who shot a 68 at Monterey Peninsula.

In the third and final round Ben shot a 70 at Pebble Beach to finish two strokes ahead of Jim Ferrier who was one stroke back at the beginning of the round. Amateur golfer, Frank Stranahan led the tournament going into the final round by four strokes shot a 78 to finish tied for seventh.

Byron Nelson emerged from his retirement to play in the tournament only to pick up on the final day. Sam Snead finished in a three way tie for eleventh place, but was in contention until his final two holes where he took 12 strokes, prompting him to throw his ball into the ocean.

Ben’s consistency showed in the three rounds he played shooting 70-68-70. Over 10,000 people showed up to watch the final round, the largest crowd ever recorded to that date

Ben was quoted after the tournament: “I’m ready to slow down a bit. I’m playing in the Long Beach Open and then at Phoenix next week. After that I’m going to Ft. Worth to help put the finishing touches on our new home. I don’t know if I’ll play in the Houston Tournament. The next tournament after Phoenix that I’m sure of will be the Masters.” Sadly, Ben was involved in a near fatal auto accident a few weeks later and did not play in the Masters.

Mark Baron

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

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