HOGAN AT MERION: Ben Hogan was the reigning U.S. Open champion when his car collided with a bus in West Texas in 1949, an accident so horrific that it nearly killed him and doctors feared he would never walk again.
Hogan returned to golf a year later and played the U.S. Open at Merion in 1950. He had to soak his legs for an hour each night just to keep playing, and while he was only two shots behind Dutch Harrison going into the 36-hole final day, there were questions whether they could hold up over two rounds.
With Hogan needing a par on the 72nd hole to get into a playoff, his legs were so weakened that he hit 1-iron into the 18th. A plaque at Merion commemorates the shot Hogan hit that led to par, and the photo of his swing is among the most famous in golf. And he won the playoff. Of his four U.S. Open titles, that one meant the most to Hogan «because it proved I could still win.»