Sport: Closed Open

Before last week's National Open Golf tournament at Pittsburgh's Oakmont Country Club, the guessing ran hot and heavy on two questions: 1) Could anyone crack Oakmont's tough par of 288 for 72 holes—something never done in two previous opens at Oakmont? 2) Could anyone stop Ben Hogan, who had won three of the last five Open championships? Bantam Ben himself, complaining that he was a creaking 40 and that his back ached, undertook to answer both questions.

Round One. On a sweltering day, Hogan appeared on the course dressed in a heavy cardigan sweater, explaining that he wanted to keep his...

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