Just some thoughts on the USGA’s latest US Open Championship…
Congratulations, Justin Rose… a wonderful performance.
When Ben Hogan won in 1950, Merion was 6700 yards… and Hogan shot 287 (+7), then won in a playoff with a 69 (-1), for a 90 hole score of +6. Average score therefor was 71.2 for Hogan over 5 rounds, playing 36 on third day. Justin Rose won with +1 over 4 rounds, average score 70.25. Less than a shot under Hogan per round. One… Shot.
Modern driver / ball combinations are about 40 to 60 yards farther than 1950… in the hands of top professionals. Multiply 14 tee shots by 50 yards, and add 700 yards to Hogan’s Merion, you get 7400 yards, or 400 yards longer than it played this week.
Let’s not even factor in nicer greens, rounder balls, spinner grooves on wedges, 62* lobs, or hitting Irons 25 to 40 yards farther on average. Just 14 tee shots worth of distance.
Well… 400 yards is still several strokes per round (way more than 1).
Hogan was also on crippled legs too… walking those 90 holes, at four miles longer than the 2013 field’s 72. Not to mention his other injuries.
Hogan’s 1950 performance sure looks good from here. Greatest Golfer of All Time? Definitely not anyone active today. I’d take Hogan any day, against any of the players today, on any course, for any wager.
Oh yeah… Ben Hogan won just $4,000 of the $15,000 total purse in 1950. Four G’s. Nearly every caddy that looped a cut-maker made that much today.
By he way, Mr. Nager… it’s time the USGA right an awful wrong that is 71 years old. You know what I’m talking about. Time to finally ‘fess up… Ben Hogan won the 1942 USGA Open. He won FIVE USGA Gold Medals. Not Four. Oh yeah, he shot a 62 in that event as well. Open Record Low Round, ever since.
Time to start a Petition of the USGA to recognize Hogan’s First of Five USGA Open Victories. Comment here with your name and email contact, handicap and city (won’t all be shown, just initials and handicap) to be added to the Petition.