Jack Fleck (1921-2014)

The man who defeated Ben Hogan in the 1955 U.S. Open died today at the age of 92 in Fort Smith, Arkansas.


Fleck was an outstanding ball striker, but an indifferent putter. He came to the Olympic Club confident and knowledgable, having played many rounds there. He was one stroke off the lead going into the Saturday 36-hole final.

With several holes to go for Fleck, Hogan was in the clubhouse with a two-stroke lead. On the 72nd hole, Fleck need a birdie 3 to tie Hogan. He got it, to get into a playoff the next day.

Fleck had a one-stroke lead on the final hole when Hogan slipped hitting his drive, and ended up with a double bogey 6, securing the victory for Fleck.

Fleck, who began and ended his career as a teaching pro, did not receive the adulation a National Open championship normally received, one, because he beat Hogan, and two, he was an unknown.

He got a set of Ben Hogan irons just before the Open, with the blessing of Hogan himself.

Fleck won only two more tournaments on the PGA Tour.

His autobiography, The Jack Fleck Story, describes the payoff shot by shot.

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