Six ma­jors later …

Ben Ho­gan hero­ically went on winning af­ter a crip­pling crash.

New Zealand Listener - - THIS LIFE -

Com­pelling as it has been, the third com­ing of Tiger Woods mightn’t be the great­est comeback in golf­ing his­tory.

That dis­tinc­tion prob­a­bly still be­longs to Ben Ho­gan. In Texas in Fe­bru­ary 1949, Ho­gan and his wife were in a head-on col­li­sion with a Grey­hound bus. Both sur­vived be­cause Ho­gan threw him­self in front of his wife: the steer­ing wheel was driven through the driver’s seat. How­ever, Ho­gan suf­fered a dou­ble pelvis frac­ture, among other things, and was told he might never walk again. Be­fore the year was out, he was back on the golf course. He fin­ished sec­ond in his comeback tour­na­ment, won the 1950 US Open and went on to win an­other five ma­jors.

Uni­ver­sally ac­knowl­edged as one of the great­est of all time, Ho­gan was also a rare lone wolf in a clubby sport. His icily tac­i­turn man­ner – he never once called Arnold Palmer, an­other all-time great, by his name – has been at­trib­uted to his fa­ther’s sui­cide by gun­shot when Ho­gan was nine.

The sug­ges­tion that his fa­ther killed him­self in front of Ho­gan may be apoc­ryphal; like­wise the story that his an­ti­so­cial ten­den­cies were so pro­nounced that he built him­self a house with only one bed­room to pre-empt the hor­ror of overnight guests.

Ben Ho­gan: suf­fered a dou­ble pelvic frac­ture.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.