Lot 354 of 400:
50th USGA Open championship program  

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Official Souvenir Book and Program of the Golden Anniversary Open Championship of the United States Golf Association, June 8, 9, 10, 1950, Merion Golf Club, East Course, Ardmore, PA


Ardmore, PA

USGA / Merion Golf Club



142, [2] pp. Special message from “the greatest golfer of the first half century” Bobby Jones. 7½x5½" original pictorial wrappers, front cover stamped in black and gold colors, rear cover with color ad for Seagram’s Gin.

Scarce U.S. Open program, celebrating the Golden Anniversary, held at the Merion Golf Club, East Course, at Ardmore, Pennsylvania. Won by Ben Hogan, his second of four U.S. Open wins, but his first major since coming back from his near fatal car accident.

In 1949 he suffered a head-on collision with a bus, causing several fractures and other injuries leaving him with lifelong circulation problems and other physical limitations. His doctors said he might never walk again, let alone play golf competitively. Prior to the 1949 accident, Hogan never truly captured the hearts of his galleries, despite being the dominant golfer of his time. But Hogan shocked and amazed the golf world by returning to tournament golf only 11 months after his accident, and amazingly took second place after a playoff loss to Sam Snead in the 1950 Los Angeles Open, he was cheered on by ecstatic fans. "His heart was simply not big enough to carry his legs any longer," wrote Grantland Rice of Hogan's near miss. However, he proved to his critics and to himself especially that he could still win by completing his famous comeback five months later by defeating Loyd Mangrum and George Fazio in an 18 hole playoff at Merion to win the 1950 U.S. Open. Hogan went on to achieve perhaps the greatest sporting accomplishment in history by limping to 12 more PGA wins, including 6 Majors. He even received a ticker-tape parade in New York City upon his return from winning the 1953 Open Championship. Contains features on Cary Middlecoff, “Great Moments in the Open” by Francis Ouimet, A History of Merion and descriptions of the course, etc., “The Greatest Golfer of the First Half Century” [Bobby Jones] by O.B. Keeler, The Fine Art of Greenkeeping by Joseph Valentine, short histories on past winners and much more.

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