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The Week In Golf

Featuring Ben Hogan, The Goose, Ollie and a man in a spacesuit.

Posted Jan 29, 2010 by The Week In Golf

ben hogan

Feb 1, 1949: Jim Thorpe, one of the few African-American players to make it on The PGA Tour in the 1980s, was born in Roxboro, North Carolina, one of 12 children. Thorpe hustled on the golf courses to make a living before winning three times on tour. The big-hitting, cigar-smoking, storytelling Thorpe was even more successful after graduating to the Champions Tour in 1999, winning over $12million in his first decade among the seniors.
Feb 2, 1949: Ben Hogan ws lucky to escape with his life when he and his wife Valerie were hit in a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus as they drove along the West Texas Highway. Hogan sustained a broken clavicle, fractured ribs, a complex pelvic fracture and smashed bones in his left ankle as threw his body over Valerie  in the passenger seat in an attempt to save her. In doing so, he saved himself, the steering wheel being driven through the driver's seat in the collision. Not only did Hogan defy medical opinion by regaining full mobility, he won the US Open at Merion and won all three of the majors he played in 1953.
Feb 3, 1969: Retief Goosen, winner of The US Open in 2001 and 2004, was born in Pietersburg (now named Polokwane), South Africa. He survived being struck by lightning when he was 15 years-old to become a permanent fixture in the world golf hierarchy between 2001 and 2007.
Feb 4, 1912: Byron Nelson was born in Fort Worth, Texas. Lord Byron, as he became known, is best known for winning 18 tournaments during the 1945, including 11 in a row. Calculating that he'd earned enough in a year to retire, the 34 year-old Nelson bought a ranch in Texas and never returned to play tournament golf. His career winnings on The PGA Tour amounted to $182,000 - around the $2 million mark in today's money.
Feb 5, 1966: José María Olazábal, twice winner of The Masters in 1994 and 1999, was born in Hondarribia, in Spain's Basque region. Ollie won no fewer than 22 times on The European Tour, six times on The PGA Tour and will be remembered as a fine Ryder Cup player, representing Europe in six straight matches between 1987 and 1999.
Feb 6, 1969: US Navy Captain Alan Shepard became the first person to hit a golf ball on the moon. The commander of the Apollo 14 space mission made a makeshift club using the head of a six-iron he happened to have on his person.
Feb 7, 1999: Payne Stewart, winner of The PGA Championship in 1989 and two US Open titles in 1991 and 1999, notched the 22nd win of his career at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He would win just one more PGA Tour title before being killed in a plane crash just eight months after his win at Pebble.

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