The point was that many a man has been far back on the second day, only to come on to victory. Burke was eight strokes behind on the last day a year ago and still won.
Despite Doug Ford's wonderful 66, one question which will hum through the gin-and-tonic fumes in the locker rooms all summer is: could Hogan have made up 11 strokes in 36 holes? And, thanks to Ford's smart finish those who watched Ben play the first 36 will have to doubt it. From tee to green he was still almost Hogan, squinting down the wide fairways like a hawk surveying a chicken yard. But on the greens, it was the hawk who became the chicken. If it was anybody but Hogan it would have been funny. Ben couldn't have done worse putting with a tire iron. And from a distance, it seemed he was. Hogan finally did not even attack the course any more. In fact he couldn't even defend himself against it. He set a new modern Hogan record with 38 putts in the second round.
The defection seemed, at first, to leave the pickings all to Snead, and Sam swung joyously to the task on Saturday, birdie-ing the first hole with the dash of a cutlass-swinging pirate. But then he turned back into Snead again. He couldn't have been in more trouble on purpose. "Ah been fighting the squirrels all day," he groaned as shot after shot sprayed out of sight into the piney woods. But, the point is, you can spray at Augusta and the squirrels had a chance to see Snead's scythelike two-iron come crashing down through the acorns and pine needles—as the big white nut went rocketing toward the green, curling around trees and almost spitting sparks as it came to a dead stop with a little entrechat on the green. Snead still missed half his two-foot putts, but he had only seven three-putt greens for the first three rounds, which is awful, but for Snead pretty good.
Snead took his loss philosophically although he was a little pained at the way it happened. "I didn't yip hardly any putts today," he complained. "I was nice and relaxed, and thought the whole cake was mine. But here's a man who takes all those one-putts and some no-putts [Ford had chipped in on No. 12, too]. Can't win over that." Grinned Ford, who tends to play a hooking game: "The good Lord cooperated on this course today and made it perfect for my hard ball."
Ford's caddie, George Franklin, struck the only unregenerate note. He still thought his man had played too risky a game. "It worked this year," he observed sourly, still perspiring at the money that almost went in the water on No. 15. "But it ain't gonna work next, I'm telling ya. Man 4 under par shoulda played it safe."