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Snead's final victory in this historic tournament

1951 PGA Championship Wanamaker Trophy Won by Sam Snead. The thirty-third edition of this oldest of American Majors stands in bold lettering in the annals of golf history for a couple of reasons. First, the heralded event duplicated for the first time in its existence the selection of a venue, returning to Oakmont Country Club in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, site of the 1922 PGA Championship. And perhaps even more notably, the illustrious Sam Snead broke his own record as the oldest man to claim the title at age thirty-nine. This third PGA Championship would prove to be Snead's last as well.

Snead would meet Detroit native Walter Burkemo in the final, a golfer best remembered as the victor in the 1953 PGA Championship. But in this earlier edition, Burkemo found himself woefully overmatched, with Snead requiring just thirty of the scheduled thirty-six holes of the final round to claim the victory seven and six.

Presented is the trophy awarded to Snead for that decisive victory, the namesake loving cup of Rodman Wanamaker, heir to a department store empire who aimed to improve the perception of professional golfers as merely "hired help" with the creation of The Professional Golfers Association of America in 1916. The permanent trophy is passed from winner to winner each successive year, but a smaller replica is awarded in perpetuity, and it is that sixteen-inch tall version we present here, one of the most important golf awards ever to reach the public auction block. The gorgeous sterling relic is engraved on the body of the cup, "Annual Championship of the Professional Golfers Association of America, Rodman Wanamaker Trophy," while a band encircling the wooden base attributes the prize to "Sam Snead, Champion, 1951."

Condition is spectacular, with not even a touch of oxidation to note, much less any dents, abrasions or other more permanent defects. A peerless artifact, both in terms of aesthetics and historical import. Letter of provenance from Jack Snead.


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Auction Dates
August, 2013
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