A golf memorabilia collector paid $52,038 for the ball that Rory McIlroy used in the final round of his Open Championship victory last month.
After holing out on the last hole of the Open at Hoylake McIlroy threw the ball into the stands and it was caught by Englishman Lee Horner. Horner consigned the ball to golf auctioneer Green Jacket Auctions, after they offered him $10,000 to include it their auction.
The auction company’s co-founder, Ryan Carey, said that the price paid for the ball is the second-highest ever paid for a golf ball, narrowly missing what a collector paid in April 2011 for a vintage Bobby Jones autographed ball sold for $55,865. “There was a lot of interest in this ball,” Carey said. “We had 22 different bidders from countries across the world, including Ireland, Australia and countries in Asia.” Carey said the buyer wants to stay anonymous, but did disclose that it was won by an American.
Carey said not many tournament-winning balls have come to the collectors’ marketplace because they are either kept by the golfer or even lost in a bag after a round. He said he hopes that the money generated from the McIlroy ball will encourage golfers to save their balls and for some to eventually be made available to the public.
In the same auction Green Jacket Auctions sold a members green jacket from Augusta National which sold for over $22,000. I am sure Rory would give his entire set of winning clubs and bag to get his hands on the green jacket next April and complete the grand slam.