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    The first of two consecutive victories in the tournament

    1928 Leo Diegel PGA Championship Gold Medal. It's one of great truths of athletic competition: In order to be the best, you have to beat the best. Perhaps no man in PGA Championship history has ever faced such a treacherous path to the title as Diegel in 1928. The quarterfinal round found him paired in match play format with Walter Hagen, winner of a record five PGA Championships, including each of the previous four (1924-27). Diegel advanced with a narrow two-and-one victory. Out of that frying pan, Diegel leapt into the fire of a Gene Sarazen semifinal, dispatching the 1922-23 PGA Champion rather handily at nine-and-eight. The final must have seemed a mere formality, as Diegel completed his remarkable run with a six-and-five defeat of Al Espinosa.

    Forged in the intense heat of that trial by fire, the presented gold medal was Diegel's victory prize, designed by renowned artist and sculptor Henning Ryden. Obverse reports "Professional Golfer's Association of America" in raised lettering with "Leo Diegel 1928" engraved below. Small diamond at center of this engraving is genuine but a later replacement. Verso blends Greek and Roman sensibilities with the Scottish sport, an idealized semi-nude golfer and caddy in heroic pose.

    The medal presents beautifully, with a couple light scratches at the Diegel engraving representing the sole deviation of any significance from the condition as issued (discounting the aforementioned diamond replacement). It's the earliest PGA Championship victor's medal we've offered since Hagen's 1925 model commanded over $62,000 in our November 2011 Signature auction. Diameter two inches (2").

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2015
    21st-22nd Saturday-Sunday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,660

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