10 Notes to Know: June 1, 2020
PGA Tour competition returns in less than two weeks at the Charles Schwab Challenge in Fort Worth, Texas. No player is more synonymous with Colonial Country Club than Ben Hogan, who won this event five times in his storied career. This week’s Ten Notes to Know focuses on Hogan, one of the greatest players in golf history.
- Incredibly, no player has won at Colonial in back-to-back years since Ben Hogan did it in 1952 and 1953. The Charles Schwab Challenge has the longest active drought of any PGA Tour event without someone winning in back-to-back seasons. The tournament with the second-longest such drought is the Wyndham Championship, who’s last back-to-back winner was Sam Snead in 1955 and 1956.
- Hogan did not win his first major championship until age 34, at the 1946 PGA Championship. Hogan’s nine major championship wins at age 34 or older are the most in history – Jack Nicklaus and Sam Snead are tied for second-most in men’s professional golf, with six apiece.
- From 1939 through 1956, Hogan played in The Masters 14 times. In that stretch, he never finished outside the top-ten, won twice and finished runner-up four times. Hogan was a combined 24-under-par in those Tournaments, 36 strokes better than anyone else with 20 or more rounds played. Snead was second, at 12-over.
- Hogan is arguably the best U.S. Open performer since World War II. Among players with 40 or more rounds played in that span, he leads all players in strokes gained per round, at 4.20. Lloyd Mangrum ranks second, at 2.98 – nearly 5 full strokes per tournament behind The Hawk.
- Ben won 13 times in the 1946 season, the second-highest single-season total in PGA Tour history, behind Byron Nelson’s 18 victories in 1945. Hogan is the only player with multiple double-digit win campaigns: he also won ten times two years later, in 1948.
- Hogan won in six consecutive PGA Tour starts in 1948 and five straight in 1953. He is one of two players in PGA Tour history with multiple win streaks of five or more. The other is Tiger Woods, who has three such streaks.
- Hogan played The Open Championship only once in his career – in his halcyon season of 1953. Ben won that week to complete what was known as golf’s ‘triple crown,’ victories in The Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship. There are only two instances in men’s professional golf history where a player won three majors in the same calendar year: Hogan in 1953 and Woods in 2000.
- Hogan won all three of those majors in ’53 by four strokes or more (The Open by four, The Masters by five, and the U.S. Open by six). Only four other players in history have three or more such major wins in their CAREER: Nicklaus (four), James Braid (four), John Henry Taylor (five) and Woods (five).
- From 1946 through 1960, Hogan played in the U.S. Open 13 times. In that stretch, he never finished worse than tenth. Hogan led all U.S. Open players in strokes gained per round in both the 1940s (4.56) and 1950s (4.85).
- At the 1960 U.S. Open, at age 47, Hogan was tied for the lead standing on the 71st tee. He would not win that day – Arnold Palmer won, while an amateur named Jack Nicklaus finished second. Hogan would have been the oldest U.S. Open winner in history had he been victorious – and still would have held the record today.