On March 21, 1940, it finally happened.
Ben Hogan won.
The story has become the stuff of Pinehurst lore and legend. Hogan had toiled on the PGA Tour for seven years without a victory. He was close to calling the pro game quits and retiring back to Texas to become a club pro. His car rolled into Pinehurst for the 1940 North & South Open on four bald tires.
But Hogan opened with a first-round 66 on Pinehurst No. 2 and followed with a 67 in the next round, building a 7-shot lead. His 74 and 70 in the 36-hole finale on March 21 weren’t spectacular, but they still held off Snead by three shots. Hogan, finally – FINALLY – was a winner.
History is something we cherish at Pinehurst. And beginning this week, 75 years after Hogan finally broke through on No. 2, we are paying tribute to The Hawk. This Spring, the starters at Pinehurst No. 2 will greet players while donning Hogan-styled caps. As part of their regular welcome to the first tee, they will recount the story above before players walk into Hogan’s own footsteps – the footsteps that after Pinehurst, led to nine major championships and 68 other professional victories.