History

1946: The veterans return home

Champion: Ben Hogan, Hershey, Pa.
Site: Portland Golf Club, Portland, Oregon
Date: Aug. 19-25
Purse: $17,700
Par: 35-37 - 72

With World War II ended, the 28th PGA Championship field boasted one of its strongest fields. Favorite Ben Hogan was a lean 135-pound U.S. Army veteran from Hershey, Pennsylvania, and the PGA leading money-winner (1940-42) before his tour of duty. Hogan met Ed "Porky" Oliver, a 220-pounder from Wilmington, Delaware, in the finals. Oliver, who had spent 4 1/2 years in the Army, returned to competition the winter before the Championship. Oliver built a three-hole lead at the end of the morning round, while Hogan soared to a 73. But Hogan regained his putting touch in the afternoon, canning birdie puts of 17, 12 and 12 feet and posting a 30 on the front nine. The hot start earned him a 1-up lead. Hogan closed out Oliver 6 and 4, following a superb iron approach to within three feet of the pin on the 31st hole. Hogan was 7 under par, playing the afternoon 14 holes in 8 under par.

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