Snead and Hogan square off in a battle for the ages1954 Masters Championship Trophy Won by Sam Snead.
Augusta is famously (and rather understandably) protective of its Green Jacket, so while the coveted garment may be considered the ultimate symbol of achievement on Bobby Jones' fabled course, those dreaming of ownership will have a better shot achieving that goal with their golf clubs than with their bidding paddles. But as rare as the opportunity at Green Jacket ownership has been within the current golf collectibles climate, this offering is rarer still. To the best of our knowledge, this magnificent coalescence of design and historical import represents the very first Masters Championship trophy ever to reach the hobby's auction block.
Most golf historians rate this 1954 edition solidly within the top ten of all Masters contested to date, a tournament that required ninety nail-biting holes to reach its conclusion, the final eighteen a head-to-head battle between the two greatest players of their day, Ben Hogan and Sam Snead. After this iconic pair found themselves deadlocked at 289 at the close of four rounds, a Monday playoff circuit would result in a match that the legendary Bobby Jones would describe as the "greatest round of golf I've ever seen." Snead's victory over his friend and nemesis would prove to be his final Major, adding still greater luster to a piece with no shortage thereof.
The distinctive design of the trophy is an intriguing departure from the standard loving cup format so common in sporting awards, effectively an Augusta clubhouse in miniature, a scale model of Augusta's most recognizable edifice. The structure rests atop a sterling silver disk measuring approximately thirteen inches in diameter and set upon a polished wooden base that expands the dimensions slightly. On the edge of the polished silver disk is engraved the text, "Masters Tournament, Augusta National Golf Club, 1954 Sam Snead 289."
It must be noted, as is the case with the Masters plaque and 1949 Gold Medal likewise listed within this Platinum Night auction, that this trophy was presented to Snead some years after his retirement from the Tour, though this fact in no way diminishes the enormous appeal. These trophies did not exist at the time of Snead's Championships, but upon their creation it was decided that past Champions should be honored retroactively. The trophy remains in stellar condition with no condition flaws to note. Certainly one of the most significant golf awards ever to take a turn on the auction block. Letter of provenance from Jack Snead.
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