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    The Jackie Robinson of the Ryder Cup!

    1979 Ryder Cup Team Ring Presented to Lee Elder. Born in 1934 not far from the global headquarters of Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas, Lee Elder got his improbable start in the sport of golf as a caddy at the all-white Tennison Park Golf Club. He'd soon find a sympathetic mentor in the head pro of the course, who allowed Elder to play the back holes of the course, hidden from public view, after the crowds had subsided. Elder would join the all-black United Golfers Association in 1959, rising to such dominance by 1966 that he'd win eighteen of twenty-two tournaments in which he played that year. He'd use his winnings to pay the $6,500 fee to qualify for the PGA Tour in 1967, setting a course for a number of historic firsts.

    He'd be the first black golfer to play in the South African PGA Tournament in 1971, and four years later he'd endure death threats as the first to racially integrate the Masters Tournament.

    The presented ring commemorates another landmark achievement, membership on the 1979 Ryder Cup team, the first to welcome a player of African-American heritage. When considering the fact that the Ryder Cup team is effectively a national team, representing the United States on the global stage, the significance of the achievement comes into sharp focus.

    A genuine diamond is set into a black stone on the ring's face, with "Ryder Cup Team" circumnavigating the perimeter in raised lettering. Left shank reveal's Elder's surname and a figural Ryder Cup, while right provides the year and an American flag. Interior band measures to a size ten (10) and holds maker's mark and "14K" engraving. Weight is thirty-five grams (35 g.). Fine condition.

    The 1979 Ryder Cup was also noteworthy as the first to feature a team from continental Europe, ending a half century of UK vs. USA tradition. The American team, featuring such iconic names as Tom Kite, Lee Trevino and Fuzzy Zoeller, would take the victory over Europe at West Virginia's The Greenbrier, with Elder adding one point to the seventeen-to-eleven winning margin.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    August, 2019
    17th-18th Saturday-Sunday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 406

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