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History Lesson

Succession’s Brian Cox tells incredible story about witnessing Ben Hogan’s iconic 1953 Open victory

For a man who describes himself as a “hopeless” golfer, ‘Succession’-star Brian Cox’s life has been touched by the sport from the very start. On Wednesday, Cox, who grew up steps from the Old Course and starred in a recent Caddyshack-themed ad campaign with Serena Williams, joined The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon to discuss his incredible golf-adjacent life. There, amidst a bunch of juciy anecdotes (Serena doesn’t actually like golf, growing up watching players struggle at the Old Course soured him on the game), he told a story that shocked not Fallon but us too:

When Cox was seven years old, he witnessed Ben Hogan win the 1953 Open Championship at Carnoustie, one of the most iconic victories in golf history (story starts around the :58 second mark).

Hogan’s win at the ‘53 Open is legendary for countless reasons. Despite nine major victories, it was the only Claret Jug he ever lifted. It followed a nearly fatal 1949 car crash, after which Hogan curtailed his playing schedule, focusing primarily on the Masters and U.S. Open (sound familiar, Tiger fans?) After winning both in 1953, Hogan decided to make the trek to Scotland. Battling the flu (sound familiar, MJ fans?), Hogan posted a final round 68, besting Peter Thomson by four strokes as a pint-sized Brian Cox watched on. It was Hogan’s last major championship victory.

So when you fire up ‘Succession’ this weekend for the premiere of its fourth and final season, remember that Cox, no matter how despicable in his role as patriarch Logan Roy, witnessed golf history 70 years ago. That’s almost better than an Emmy in our book.