I've read some inspired features and columns heading into this U.S. Open, but my favorite may have arrived Monday on GolfDigest.com courtesy of Bill Fields. Now the Features Editor at Golf World, Fields used to be one of those guys inside the ropes getting heckled for having a big lens in a spectator's way who also captured some historic images.
In this must read, he puts Hy Peskin's epic Ben Hogan photo into perspective and talks to some of the modern greats (Iooss, Cannon) about what the photograph represents to them. It's a terrific read.
I scarcely went out on an assignment without thinking about what Hy Peskin achieved on June 10, 1950, and I doubt my contemporaries have either. Peskin's image of Ben Hogan — just 16 months removed from a car accident that nearly killed him, playing his approach with a 1-iron to the 18th hole during the fourth round of the U.S. Open at Merion GC — is a masterful study of a legend.
"At boarding school, other kids had semi-nude girls or Rod Stewart on their walls," says Cannon, a veteran British photographer for Getty Images. "I had Tony Jacklin and Tom Weiskopf and that Hogan photo. Years before I started taking pictures in the late-1970s, I knew that one."
Golfers know it the way we know Francis Ouimet and Eddie Lowery walking toward an upset victory at the U.S. Open in 1913; Bobby Jones (1927) and Seve Ballesteros (1984) triumphant in St. Andrews; Arnold Palmer exuberantly finishing off his lone U.S. Open win at Cherry Hills in 1960; Tom Watson chipping in at Pebble Beach in 1982; Jack Nicklaus turning back the clock at Baltusrol in 1980 or Augusta National in 1986; Payne Stewart's unbridled joy at winning the 1999 U.S. Open; Tiger Woods reacting after somehow finding a way to get it done on the 72nd green of the 2008 U.S. Open.