This day in sports: Ben Hogan forces playoff in 1950 U.S. Open

Ben Hogan follows through on his drive at the 15th tee during the U.S. Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in 1948. 
Ben Hogan follows through on his drive at the 15th tee during the U.S. Open golf tournament at Riviera Country Club in 1948.
(John Malmin / Los Angeles Times)

Sixteen months after a near-fatal car accident, Ben Hogan fired a one-iron from the fairway on the 18th hole on this date in 1950 and landed the ball 40 feet from the cup in the fourth round of the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club in Ardmore, Pa.

Hogan two-putted for par which put him in a three-way tie and forced an 18-hole playoff the next day against Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio.

Hogan wrenched his knee teeing off on the 12th hole but refused to acknowledge the injury, saying, “Boys, let’s forget it. I imagine people are getting tired of reading about my injuries.”


Nevertheless, from that point his caddy had to pick Hogan’s ball out of the hole and his playing partner, Cary Middlecoff, had to mark Hogan’s ball on the greens.

Hogan won the playoff the next day, his second of four U.S. Open titles.

This week, in the second game of a six-game trip, the Dodgers would have played the Reds on Wednesday at Cincinnati. The Angels were set to play the second of two inter-league games against the Miami Marlins at Angel Stadium. Both games were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other memorable games and outstanding sports performances on this date:

1934 — Italy beats Czechoslovakia 2-1 on a goal by Angelo Schiavio in extra time to win the second FIFA World Cup at the Stadio Flaminio in Rome. Trailing 1-0, Italy ties the game in the 81st minute on a goal by Raimundo Orsi.

1977 — Al Geiberger sets a PGA Championship 18-hole record when he shoots a 59 in the second round of the Danny Thomas Memphis Classic at Colonial Country Club. Geiberger’s round included a pitch-in eagle on the 10th hole, nine birdie putts outside 10 feet and 23 putts overall.

1978 — Affirmed, ridden by Steve Cauthen and trained by Laz Barrera, wins the Belmont Stakes by a head to take the Triple Crown in one of the great battles in Thoroughbred racing history. Affirmed edges Alydar, his rival in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes, for the third time. The two are tied with 1/16th of a mile to go and Affirmed takes the lead by a nose with five strides left to the finish line.

Rory McIlroy, Ricky Fowler and other PGA Tour pros will do what it takes to relaunch golf, but there will be changes following the coronavirus shutdown.

June 8, 2020

1989 — The Kings’ Wayne Gretzky is named the NHL’s most valuable player when he his awarded the Hart Trophy for a record ninth time. He edges Pittsburgh’s Mario Lemieux for the honor even though Gretzky finished second to the Penguins’ All-Star in scoring.


1995 — Trainer Wayne Lukas wins a record five-straight Triple Crown races when Thunder Gulch crosses the finish line first at the Belmont Stakes. He is the first trainer to win all three Triple Crown races with two different horses in the same year. Thunder Gulch is first in the Kentucky Derby and Timber Country wins the Preakness Stakes.

1996 — Colorado’s Patrick Roy makes 63 saves and Uwe Krupp scores at 4:31 into the third overtime to give the Avalanche a 1-0 win over the Florida Panthers at Miami Arena, and complete a four-game sweep of the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since the team moved from Quebec. John Vanbiesbrouck of the Panthers stops 55 of 56 Colorado shots. Joe Sakic, who scored 18 goals throughout the playoffs, is the series’ most valuable player.

2006 — At Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, N.J., Bernard Hopkins wins a unanimous decision over light-heavyweight champion Antonio Tarver. Hopkins, 41, is coming off back-to-back decision losses to Jermaine Taylor, but he dominated the fight, knocking down Tarver late in the bout.

2010 — USC is put on four years’ probation, receives a two-year bowl ban and a sharp loss of football scholarships when the NCAA cites the school for a lack of institutional control. The NCAA found that Heisman Trophy winner Reggie Bush, identified as a “former football student-athlete,” was ineligible beginning at least by December of 2004. It also orders USC to vacate all wins in which Bush participated while ineligible, including a BCS championship. The Trojans lose 30 scholarships over a three-year period, 10 each year from 2011 to 2013. The report also cites improper benefits for former basketball player O.J. Mayo.

2012 — Shanshan Feng shoots a five-under par 65 to become the first Chinese player to win an LPGA tournament, and a major, when she takes the LPGA Championship at Locust Hill Country Club in Pittsford, N.Y., two shots ahead of four runners-up.

Sources: The Times, Associated Press