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Wednesday, November 19, 2003
Hogan walks away as U.S. Open champion
By Larry Schwartz
Special to

June 11, 1950

Just 16 months after being involved in an auto accident that almost took his life and had doctors questioning whether he would walk again, Ben Hogan is on the threshold of winning the U.S. Open. It is only his seventh tournament since his brush with death.

He could have won yesterday at the Merion Golf Club, outside Philadelphia, needing only to play the final four holes in 1-over par. But wearied by having to play 36 holes in one day for the first time since the accident, he bogeys 15 and 17 for a 7-over-par 287 and has to settle for being part of today's three-man playoff.

Rejuvenated by two baths and a good night's sleep, Hogan shoots a 1-under 69 to finish four strokes ahead of Lloyd Mangrum and six ahead of George Fazio. His victory is made easier when Mangrum is penalized two strokes for picking up and blowing a bug off his ball on the 16th green. Hogan's putting, which had been inconsistent in the first four rounds, is solid. Though he makes only one putt longer than seven feet -- a 50-footer for a birdie on 17 that seals his triumph -- he doesn't three-putt as he wins his second U.S. Open.

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