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1952 Bobby Locke British Open Gold Championship Medal....

2011 November 10-11 Vintage Sports Collectibles Signature Auction- Dallas #7041

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Auction Ended On: Nov 11, 2011
Item Activity: 7 Internet/mail/phone bidders
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Location: Heritage Auctions
3500 Maple Avenue
Dallas, TX 75219

1952 Bobby Locke British Open Gold Championship Medal. Arthur D'Arcy "Bobby" Locke was born in South Africa in 1917. Locke was regarded by many as one of the top ten golfers of all time. By the age of twenty he had won everything worth winning in South Africa, including the South African Open and Amateur titles. In 1936 he was the leading Amateur in The British Open, tying for eighth place. He reigned supreme in South Africa for twenty years. After WWII, he made his first visit to America accepting an invitation from Sam Snead, who on a visit to South Africa the previous year had lost twelve of sixteen head-to-head matches to Locke. In America, Locke competed against the likes of Hogan, Nelson and Snead (among others). Over the span of slightly more than two seasons, Locke succeeded in playing in fifty-nine PGA tournaments, winning thirteen, coming in runner-up in ten and placing third in seven. After winning the Chicago Victory National in 1946 by sixteen strokes, the Tour banned Locke from further participation, ostensibly because he failed to show up for two committed events. In private, some Tour players admitted that Locke was just too good, and that the Tour didn't like a foreigner winning their money. The ban was lifted in 1951, but Locke chose not to return to America.

After the American ban, Bobby headed for Europe, where he won twenty-three times, including four victories in the British Open (1949, 1950, 1952, and 1957). Interestingly, all of his Open victories started with rounds of sixty-nine.

The 1952 Open was played at Royal Lytham and St. Anne's. In the first two rounds, Locke was paired with Peter Thompson (a five time winner of the Open) and in the final round with Fred Daly. Locke's total score of 287 was enough to win the Championship by one stroke, and take the Gold Medal as Champion of the Year. The front of the medal is inscribed "Open Golf Championship, 1952." The reverse is inscribed "Winner, July." The medal measures 1.75" diameter and is housed in its original red leather fitted case. Lot derives from the Philadelphia Private Golf Museum.

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