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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 280
HOGAN: THE RISE OF A LEGEND B EN Hogan managed to capture everything it takes to become a sporting legend; he was dominant inside of the ropes, and he led a completely fascinating life outside of them. It took “The Hawk” eight years to claim his first individual PGA Tour title, which occurred during this corresponding week in 1940 at the North & South Open Championship. But that day at Pinehurst No.2 represents the rise of a golfing hero ... Hogan endured a tough childhood. He was born in 1912 and grew up in Dublin, Texas, where he is said to have witnessed his father, Chester, commit suicide in 1922. Seven years later, a determined Hogan turned professional. But it took nearly a decade before he broke into the winner’s circle alongside Vic Ghezzi at the 1938 Hershey Four-Ball teams’ event. Another two years passed before Hogan arrived at Pinehurst Resort for an event that is fondly remembered as, ‘The Masters before there was a Masters’. The North & South Open was once one of the most lucrative tournaments on the golfing calendar. And Hogan, who was at this stage fighting an infuriating hook, was desperate to win. The 27-year-old arrived a week early to practice and prepare, seeking advice from Henry G. Picard, who reportedly helped to cure his right-to-lefts: “I can change that in five minutes. Go get your five iron.” He also received assistance from Byron Nelson, who lent him one of his new MacGregor drivers to use. Hogan proceeded to hit every fairway in his opening round, shooting 66 and equalling the course record. The following day he signed for 67 and held a seven-shot lead heading into the final day with 36 holes to play. He finished with rounds of 74 and 70, which was enough for a three-stroke victory over Sam Snead, who would later remark: The three things I fear most in golf are lightning, Ben Hogan and a downhill putt.” 1940 THIS WEEK IN ... • Joe Louis knocks out Johnny Paycheck in two rounds to regain the heavyweight boxing title. • Nazi Germany invades Denmark and Norway, and Denmark surrenders after a six-hour battle. • The governments of France and Britain agree to not make any secret treaties with the Germans and remain a unified front. ALSO MAKING NEWS THIS WEEK IN 1940 WATCH: REMEMBERING THE HAWK WORDS BY MICHAEL JONES
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