This Day in Hogan History:
By: Mark Baron – On November 4, 1945 Ben Hogan shot a final round 73 to win the Richmond Invitational at the Hermitage Country Club in Richmond Virginia by four strokes over Dick Metz, earning $2,000 in War Bonds ($1,500 cash equivalent). The Hermitage Country Club turned out to be a challenging course for the pros as Hogan’s winning score was five over par, the highest winning score in a golf tournament that year. Prior to the tournament, Ben knew how difficult the course would play and predicted the winning score would be a four over par 288, his guess nearly prophetic as he was off by one stroke.
In the first round Ben shot a one over par 72 to finish in second place one shot behind Bobby Cruickshank, who played in his prime during the 1920s when Bobby Jones was at his peak.
In the second round Ben shot a one under par 70 to tie for the lead with Jimmy Hines by one stroke over Johnny Bulla. Sam Snead was three strokes back. Hogan birdied the fourth, fifth, sixth and sixteenth holes.
It was announced on this day that Byron Nelson will be touring South Africa next year if appropriate arrangements can be made for a series of exhibition matches against Bobby Locke over a six-week period. Arrangements were not yet complete due to Nelson’s golf commitments and plans for a motion picture in Hollywood early in 1946.
The final two rounds were held on Sunday the 4th with Ben shooting a 74 – 73 to win the tournament at five over par, the highest 72-hole winning figure since Sam Snead won the Portland Open the previous year with an identical score.
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