Everyone wants a piece of 2014’s hottest golfer, and one American collectible company reportedly threw down a healthy chunk of change to grab McIlroy’s winning ball from The Open Championship in July.
Sky Sports reports that United States-based golf memorabilia collector Green Jacket Auctions bought the ball off Lee Horner, a resident of Leeds who grabbed the article after McIlroy victoriously chucked it into the gallery at Royal Liverpool’s 18th hole.
We don't know how much the auction company paid Horner for the ball, but its website offered this: "We quickly learned about the gentleman who caught the ball, Lee Horner of Leeds, England, and began negotiations to obtain it for our auction."
Here’s a GIF of McIlroy’s toss, crafted by @_MarcusD_/Twitter:
The 25-year-old pro used the Nike RZN Black ball to win his third major, and Green Jacket Auctions is adamant its ball is the real deal.
Per its website: "Without further ado, here is Rory McIlroy’s custom Nike RZN 'RORS' golf ball which he used on the 72nd hole at Hoylake. Accompanying this ball is a screen shot of television footage of our cosigner just after he caught the ball."
Green Jacket Auctions calls the ball a "dream piece" for golf collectors.
"How many chances will a collector have in their entire life to obtain the actual ball used to win a Major Championship?" the website asks.
It’s not every day you see a golfer sling his victory ball into the crowd. McIlroy whipped up $52,038.65 in perceived value with the flick of his wrist. Per Sky Sports, "It is believed to be the second-highest amount paid for a golf ball after the $55,865 paid in April 2011 for a Bobby Jones autographed ball."
But such are the things you can do when you’re putting the professional field to the torch as McIlroy has this summer. He followed up his win at The Open Championship by taking the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and, most recently, the PGA Championship, firmly stamping 2014 as his year.
Everything McIlroy touches is gold right now, so try to make your way to Louisville and grab some tees off the practice range at Valhalla.
Given the current market, even a shattered Rory tee should net you a cool $3,000 or so.
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