1953 Masters: Ben Hogan at his best

March, 30, 2011

Records are meant to be broken. With each passing generation, world-class golfers have surpassed their predecessors. Bobby Jones' records fell to Ben Hogan, Hogan's records fell to Jack Nicklaus, Nicklaus' records might very well be in the process of falling to Tiger Woods.

Well, not all of 'em.

In 1953, Hogan set a record that has yet to be broken or tied, and has rarely even been challenged. That year, he won the first three legs of golf's Grand Slam, claiming titles at the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.

Masters Top 25 Moment -- No. 5

And he had good reason for not winning the fourth: At the time, the actual days the PGA Championship was played overlapped with the British Open, so Hogan skipped that one, as he often did during his career.

The first of those three major championship victories was record-breaking in itself. With rounds of 70-69-66-69 at Augusta National, his overall total of 14-under 274 not only tied the widest margin of victory to that point (five strokes), but set the new standard for scoring, one which would remain for another dozen years afterward.

Lest you believe the ever-ornery Hogan wasn't impressed with his own performance, he followed the win by giving himself proper praise, saying, "It was the best I ever played for 72 holes."

For an interactive timeline of classic moments in Masters history, check out Masters.com.

Jason Sobel covers golf for ESPN.com. He can be reached at Jason.Sobel@espn.com.

Jason Sobel | email

ESPN Senior Writer




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