Relive Ben Hogan's heroic comeback with the book "The Miracle at Merion" by David Barrett
Being a young whippersnapper, I had heard of Ben Hogan’s stirring comeback from the car accident that almost took his life.
But I never knew the details until reading “The Miracle at Merion: The Inspiring Comeback and Victory at the 1950 U.S. Open,” the new book by David Barrett.
Reading the book is like taking a golf history class 101. Except this class is more fun than any other history class I’ve ever had. The tale is of golf lore – Hogan, searching for his first win since the 1949 car accident that tore his body apart, survives a grueling 36-hole playoff to win a major championship at one of the game’s most beloved venues, Merion.
The accident in Feb. 1949 fractured Hogan’s pelvis, collarbone, rib and ankle, but it was the subsequent blood clots in his leg that forced emergency surgery and almost took his life. He spent more than two months in the hospital and didn’t touch a club for almost nine months.
Hogan’s epic win in a thrilling playoff against Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio cemented his legacy. Barrett, who graduated from Haverford College, just across the road from Merion, retells the tale with enough vivid imagery and details that a new generation of golf fans (like me) can truly appreciate what a warrior Hogan was on the golf course, even if we never saw him play.
The book, published Oct. 11 by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc., retails for $24.95.
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