"Ugh," they called him. Or "Little Ice Water" or "Blazing Ben" or "the Hawk." Ben Hogan had almost as many nicknames as he did victories in golf's major championships, and that was nine. The sobriquets were mainly attempts to inject a little color into a man whose personality matched his no-nonsense golfing attire--white linen cap, beige shirt and sharply pressed slacks.

But his legend needed no embellishment. When William Benjamin Hogan died last week at 84, he was rightly revered as the greatest shotmaker who ever lived. "No human has ever come as close to controlling the golf ball as perfectly...

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