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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 251
T WENTY years ago on July 25 the golfing world lost one of its legends when Ben Hogan passed away in his hometown of Fort Worth, Texas at the age of 84. ‘The Hawk’ amassed 63 victories – nine of which were majors – and became the second man since the inception of the Masters to win the Career Grand Slam. He experienced tremendous hardship growing up and is believed to have witnessed his father commit suicide when Ben was just nine years old. Perhaps that incident, among others, is what shaped him into the introverted man he became. Affectionately labelled “The Wee Ice Mon” by Scottish fans at Carnoustie during the 1953 Open Championship – his only appearance at golf’s oldest major – Hogan barely spoke a word to his playing partners on the way to lifting the Claret Jug. Australia’s Peter Thomson played alongside Hogan, finishing joint runner up, and later shared his thoughts on him: “He was almost silent... He never said a word. I don’t think he was a very eloquent person, which is, I think, the reason he’s not revered now as a kind of god of golf, although he achieved so much.” Thomson’s opinion, although interesting, is not universal. Most who knew Hogan remember him for his commitment to golf and to his loved ones. He strived for perfection on the golf course, and was revered for his revolutionary swing and ball- striking ability – it’s said you could have turned your back at the range and identified Hogan’s shots by the cracking sound they made. In 1949, Hogan flung himself in front of his wife ¬– ultimately saving her life – during a head-on car crash with a Greyhound Bus. He, too, survived despite shattering his legs, pelvis, collarbone and ribs, all of which he overcame before miraculously returning to golf just a year later. Four years after the accident, Hogan captured the first three majors of 1953 and completed what is now known as the “Hogan Slam”. E it happened this week in... 1997 • Stewart Cink wins the Greater Hartford Open, now called the Travelers Championship. • Jan Ullrich of Germany wins the 84th Tour de France. His margin of victory (9’ 09”) is the largest since 1984. • Eighteen people die in the Thredbo landslide in NSW. Stuart Diver survives after being buried alive for 66 hours. Also making news this week in 1997 THE HAWK DIES IN FORT WORTH VIDEO: 10 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT HOGAN WORDS BY MICHAEL JONES
GA Express 250
GA Express 252