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Ben Hogan | "One Iron" - This is probably the most famous of all golf photographs, Ben Hogan hitting his "1 iron" to the 18th green during the final round of the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club. Hogan made par on the hole and won the tournament the next day in a playoff.
Ben Hogan's signature is part of the print in the lower right hand corner. There is a small border around the print that has captions on either side. On the lower left hand side the caption reads: "Mr. Hogan's 1-iron shot to the 18th green, during the final round of the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion." In the lower right hand corner the caption reads, "1993 Ben Hogan Company. Photo Hy Peskin, LIFE Magazine 1950 TIME Inc."
Hogan not only struggled, he staggered up the fairway. Many observers described it that way. His pained legs kept giving way and a couple of times it seemed that he was about to fall, but he managed to catch himself and keep on going. On June 10, 1950, Ben Hogan struggled up the fairway of the 18th hole at the Merion Golf Club in Pennsylvania. It was not really the 18th hole. It was the 36th hole of the day, for that was the way the U. S. Open was structured at that time--18 holes on Friday, 18 more on Saturday, then a grueling 36 holes on Sunday.
Finally, he reached his ball. The 18th at Merion is a long par four, and Hogan needed more than 200 yards on his second shot to hit the small, well-trapped green. He asked his caddie for the one-iron. The toughest shot in the bag. So tough, in fact, that it's rarely in the bag. Most golfers don't even bother to carry a one-iron because it's such a difficult club to make a good shot with. But Hogan liked the one-iron. He could hit it well, probably better than any other golfer who ever lived.He sized up the shot, somehow steadied himself on those unsteady legs, and for a few seconds he willed the pain away as he struck the ball.
The sound from the gallery told the story. There was a collective gasp at the sweet sound of a clubhead hitting the ball perfectly and the ball's responsive takeoff. Hogan made his par and forced the Monday playoff, which was anti-climactic. Well rested and refreshed, with only 18 holes to face, Hogan won easily, shooting a 69 to Mangrum's 73 and Fazio's 75. The incredible victory marked the rebirth of Hogan's career, and the real beginning of his legend.CONTACT INFORMATION
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