January 6, 2018 - 1:45pm
Posted by:
T.J. Auclair
tj.auclair's picture
Ben Hogan
PGA of America Archive
After nearly losing his life in a horrific car accident in February of 1949, Ben Hogan returned to competitive golf 11 months later at the LA Open. Post-accident, Hogan would go on to win six of his nine major titles.

Today marks a special anniversary in the annals of golf history.

On this day 67 years ago -- Jan. 6, 1950 -- Ben Hogan returned to competitive golf at the Los Angeles Open, 11 months after a near-fatal car accident.

On Feb. 2, 1949, Hogan and his wife, Valerie, narrowly survived a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus in Texas. In a successful attempt to save his wife's life by throwing himself in front of her, Hogan likely also saved his own life since the steering column punctured he driver's seat.

Hogan, 36 at the time, suffered a double-fracture of the pelvis, a fractured collar bone, a left ankle fracture, a chipped rib, and near-fatal blood clots: he would suffer lifelong circulation problems and other physical limitations.

Fifty-nine days after the accident, Hogan was out of the hospital and by November of that year, he resumed golf activities.

In that LA Open return, Hogan was outstanding, eventually losing a playoff to Sam Snead.

Post-accident, Hogan would win 11 more times on the PGA Tour, including six of his nine major championships. One of those majors was the 1950 U.S. Open at Merion, site of his iconic 1-iron shot, just a little more than a year after the accident.

Hogan, a captain of three Ryder Cup USA teams, would end his career with 64 PGA Tour victories, which is fourth all time. 

Ben Hogan returned to golf from near-fatal car accident 68 years ago today
Miguel Angel Jimenez
USA Today Images
Miguel Angel Jimenez from the first round of the 2014 Masters, wearing his trademark aviator sunglasses, is just one more example of why some compare him to "The Most Interesting Man in the World" featured in the Dos Equis commercials.

Editor's note: We're revisiting this piece, from Masters week 2014, on Miguel Angel Jimenez today in honor of his 54th birthday.

To fellow pro golfers, Miguel Angel Jimenez is known as "The Mechanic" for his love of high-performance vehicles like his red Ferrari.

To the rest of us who follow the game, he's become known as "The World's Most Interesting Golfer" because of the numerous similarities to "The World's Most Interesting Man" from the Dos Equis commercials.

You can't help but smile when you look at Jimenez. He's a man with his own style -- the red, curly ponytail under the PING hat and the aviator shades and, of course, the fine cigar and glass of Rioja that seem to occupy each hand after he signs his scorecard.

It's hard to say when exactly the comparisons started. The ads made their debut in 2006 in the United States, but it would have certainly taken time to become the well-known part of pop culture it is today. GolfChannel.com's Jason Sobel, made the reference in a blog while at ESPN, covering the 2009 Open Championship. Jimenez held the first-round lead at Turnberry.

RELATED: Jimenez ties Masters record | Masters leaderboard | 2015 Masters to be Crenshaw's last

That fictional character played by actor Jonathan Goldsmith in the Dos Equis commercials is known for the outlandish things he does. He enjoys fine cigars. His drink of choice -- naturally -- is Dos Equis beer. Overall, he seems to enjoy life more than anyone else.

Jimenez? He does outlandish stuff like this:

Hits shots like this:

And smokes cigars, like this, before (and after) major championship rounds:

And, most of all, he looks like he enjoys life more than the rest of us.

He's an enigma.

We dug up an interview from www.cigaraficionado.com from 2011. In the piece, agent Chubby Chandler (who represents Darren Clarke and Lee Westwood among others), had this to say of Jimenez:

"He's a man of his own and everyone appreciates him. He lives his life and plays the game the way he wants to. He never rushes anything, he savors everything. He just inhales life, and he exudes it. I've never known someone more comfortable in his own skin than Miguel."

What's better than that?

There was also this from the www.cigaraficionado.com article:

"It is important, no, to love what you are doing?” asks Jimenez. "It is important to enjoy the things that life brings you. I always know that when I start to play golf, that this is what I would like to do. I become good enough to be successful and have many good things for my life."

Right then, Jimenez picks up the reporter’s tape recorder from the table and holds it close to his mouth, like a microphone: "I just want to say that golf is a beautiful game and it has given me a beautiful life."

During the 2013 Open Championship, Sobel asked Jimenez if he was aware of his comparisons to the World's Most Interesting Man. Jimenez provided this fantastic, insightful response: "I don't compare myself with anyone. I try to live my life and enjoy myself. I think people ought to try to do the same thing."

To recap: Jimenez loves fast cars, fine cigars, fine wine, has won 20 events on the European Tour, has played on four European Ryder Cup teams, today joined Fred Couples and Ben Hogan in the Masters record books with his third-round 66 that tied for low score by a player 50 or older in the tournament and, overall, loves life.

It makes you wonder: Maybe those Dos Equis commercials are loosely based on Jimenez.

Follow T.J. Auclair on Twitter, @tjauclair.


Jimenez and the 'interesting man' connection