At the Masters, the world witnessed Tiger Woods pull off one of the greatest comebacks in sports history.

Woods, at 46, has stunned the world once more, despite a near-fatal automobile accident and devastating leg and back injuries.

However, it has been done previously!

Nearly 75 years ago, Hall of Famer Ben Hogan defied the odds and became a champion again after surviving a life-threatening car accident on his way home from the Phoenix Open.

“Over the years, sports fans and people who would be considered sports aficionados have considered it probably the greatest comeback of all time by an individual,” said John Davis, former Arizona Republic golf reporter and member of the Arizona Golf Hall of Fame.

According to Golf Digest, Hogan jumped to defend his wife, Valerie, in the passenger seat of their Cadillac, from a bus hurling at them on an ice road in Texas on February 2nd, 1949.

The Accident

The crash caused the car’s engine to slam into the driver’s seat, which Hogan avoided by diving to save his wife. It took nearly an hour to extricate Hogan from the wreck, and even longer for the medics to arrive.

He had a broken clavicle, a broken rib, internal bleeding, a double-fractured pelvis, head abrasions, a broken ankle, and left leg contusions. Doctors wondered if Hogan would ever be able to walk again, if he would survive.

Airbags for automobiles did not exist until the early 1950s. Many people who suffered these types of injuries in car accidents would not survive.

However, in situations like as Hogan’s, the greater the number of people who survived these traumatic incidents, the greater the pressure on the medical field to find new ways to treat significant injuries.

Hogan was hospitalised in El Paso for nearly 60 days due to complications from blood clots in his leg and lung. Hogan’s surgery had to be performed by a specialist from Tulane Hospital.

Hogan experienced leg pain and circulation difficulties as a result of the surgery required to correct the ailment.

It appeared as if his career was finished for a man who had just been named “Golfer of the Year” in 1948.

The Comeback

In December 1949, after months of sitting on the sidelines as a spectator and rigorous rehab, Hogan played 18 holes for the first time.

Only a month later, at the Los Angeles Open, did Hogan compete again.

Surprisingly, he finished second overall after a complete 72-hole round, plus an 18-hole playoff with Sam Snead. He fought valiantly all weekend only to fall short.

However, the seemingly unachievable prospect of winning again was seen as much more feasible.

In June 1950, Hogan won the U.S. Open in another 18-hole playoff over Lloyd Mangrum and George Fazio. Because of what Hogan performed that day, the match was dubbed “the Miracle in Merion.”