This painting features the world famous 18th Hole at Merion where Ben Hogan hit the legendary 1-iron to the green in the final round
of the 1950 US Open. George Fazio, who was watching the action after finishing his final round said, "It was the best shot he ever saw."
Part of the Jack Nicklaus ABC Sports TV Special, The 18 Most Difficult Holes in Major Championship Golf, this painting was one of two
paintings I did of Merion Golf Club for the Jack Nicklaus TV Special. The other was the 11th hole of Merion, featured on the previous page.
When I first wrote this story in 2008, the 18th hole of Merion was a difficult part 4 of 458 yards; starting out with a tee shot that had to
carry 210 yards over a rock quarry to a blind landing area. Because of modern golf ball and club technology, Merion lengthened the
hole to a whopping 521 yards for the 2013 US Open. The tee box was moved back and now the players are faced with a 250 yard drive
just to carry the quarry! However, the true test is the second shot here because the green is shaped like a barrel laying on its side
making the approach shot that much harder.
Any shot short of the green will roll all the way back down the fairway and any ball hit too long will make getting up and down for par
a daunting task! Justin Rose did just that to win his first US Open title last summer with a great chip shot from the back of the green.
The original painting is in the private collection of Dr. James Bryan of Latrobe Country Club.