Description1919 Bobby Jones Southern Golf Association Open Runner-Up Silver Medal. Front has the initials "SGA" embedded in an ornate design including a bag of golf clubs. Back reads "Open Tournament Atlanta September 8-10-1919, Robt. T. Jones Jr., Runner Up." A maker's mark at the bottom is stamped "Sterling." The pendant measures 1.5" in diameter and exhibits mild tarnishing which could easily be eliminated if desired. Weight is twenty-two grams. The seventeen-year old Jones finished second by a single stroke to professional Jim Barnes, a PGA and U.S. Open Champion. He was also the Runner-up in the U.S. Amateur and Canadian Open that year. This is one of the earliest Jones awards ever made available for public sale. Lot derives from the Philadelphia Private Golf Museum. Letter of provenance from Bobby Jones' daughter.
The Bobby Jones Collection of Early Championship Medals.
Robert Tyre (Bobby) Jones, Jr. (1902 -1971) was undoubtedly the greatest golfer of his era, and many would assert that he was the greatest golfer ever. His competitive golfing career started at age fourteen when he captured the Georgia State Amateur and entered the United States Amateur for the first time, a Championship he was to win a record five times before retiring from tournament golf in 1930 at the age of just twenty-eight. During that span of fourteen years Bobby Jones only played in fifty-four competitive events, over half of them while he was still a maturing minor under the age of twenty-one. In truth, Jones was a part time golfer who packed his clubs away in the fall and brought them out again in the spring. Incredibly, Bobby Jones won an amazing twenty-two times out of the fifty-four events he entered. Of the twenty-three major events he played in during his adult years (1923 to 1930), he captured three of three British Opens, four of eight U.S. Opens (with two runner-up finishes), five of eight U.S. Amateurs (with one runner-up), and one of three British Amateurs for an incredible winning rate of thirteen of twenty-three.
As is well known, Jones captured all four Major Championships in his last season of 1930, the legendary Grand Slam. No golfer before or since has compiled such an impressive winning streak. Today, trophies are traditionally the prize given for winning golf tournaments. In Jones' day, however, an important trophy was usually held for only a year and then had to be returned for the next champion to hold for his tenure. The permanent prize awarded was a medal, gold for first place, silver for second, and bronze for third (and sometimes for fourth place, especially in match play events where 3rd and 4th places were co-equal as both were quarter-finalists).
Jones compiled a small but impressive treasure trove of medals from his playing days. According to Sidney Matthew, the foremost expert on Bobby Jones (The Life and Times of Bobby Jones and The History of Bobby Jones' Golf Clubs, plus nearly a dozen other Jones related golf books), the great man kept his tournament hardware in a small chest in the dining room of his home in Atlanta. In 1967, Jones donated his Major Championship Medals to the United States Golf Association Museum, where they reside today in the magnificent Bobby Jones Room (along with some other historic Jones memorabilia such as Jones' famous putter called 'Calamity Jane'). A few other Jones medals were donated to other museums and golf clubs. However, a very few of the non-major medals remained in the Jones family and eventually descended to Bobby's grandchildren, Bob IV and Adele. Offered within this auction are five medals owned by granddaughter Adele. Dr. Glaser obtained them in 1992 through renowned golf collectibles dealer Mort Olman, who brokered the medals for Adele. Each Medal comes with a signed statement from Adele attesting to her consignment of the medal to Mr. Olman.
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