HOUSTON — The fourth hole on the Cypress Creek course at Champions Golf Club is a lengthy par 3, winding along the creek for which the course is named.
As competitors play through during the final rounds of the U.S. Women’s Open, it’s unlikely they even realize the hole proved the ultimate demise for one of the game’s greatest players — Ben Hogan.
In 1971, Hogan made the trip to the Houston Champions International Golf Tournament, but the then-58-year-old was only playing at the request of his buddies Jackie Burke, Jr. and Jimmy Demaret, who founded the club. Hogan, who amassed 64 PGA Tour wins and nine majors, hadn’t won a tournament in a dozen years and played sparingly at the time, but agreed to take part since the trip from his home in Fort Worth to Houston was only a few hours drive.
On the fourth hole of the opening round, Hogan pulled his tee shot into a bank that leads down to the creek. According to numerous sources, Hogan went down to retrieve the ball and reinjured the knee that had been damaged in a car crash that nearly cost him his life more than two decades before.
Originally, Hogan thought he’d be able to play his ball, but had to return to the tee for another attempt when he deemed it unplayable.
He put his next tee shot in Cypress Creek.
Then he did it again.
Hogan finally made nine on the hole, but the damage was done, not just on his round, but on his knee. Although he tried to play through the pain for a bit, he eventually turned to playing partners Charles Coody and Dick Lotz on the 12th hole and said he couldn’t continue.
Hogan told his caddie to pick up his ball, headed back to the clubhouse and withdrew from the tournament, never to play in another pro tournament.
Hogan died on July 25, 1997 in Fort Worth at the age of 84.
original article link https://golfweek.usatoday.com/2020/12/13/champions-golf-club-ended-ben-hogan-career/