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Description1957 Bobby Locke British Open Championship Gold Medal & Winning Ball. Bobby Locke (1917- 1987) won four British Open Championships in his illustrious career: 1949, 1950, 1952, and 1957. The last win was his finest, because he achieved his dream of winning the Open Championship on the Old Course at St. Andrews, the Home of Golf. In doing so, Locke tied the Open record score of 279. Heritage Auctions is proud to offer Bobby Locke's Gold Medal from that historical event along with the winning ball, signed by Bobby Locke himself and mounted on an inscribed fruitwood stand.
These two golfing treasures were part of Bobby Locke's estate which went to auction in London in 1993. Our consignor was the winning bidder at over $35,000. Now the pair is available again to the highest bidder, without reserve.
The Gold Medal is inscribed on the front "Open Golf Championship 1957" along with three small hallmarks, and "Winner A.D. Locke, July" on the back. The medal measures 1.75" (4 cm) in diameter and sits in its original red leather fitted case.
The Championship Ball is a Slazenger B51 on which Locke signed in ink "Bobby Locke 1957." The wooden plinth sports a silver band which reads, "Ball used by Bobby Locke in the final round of the British Open Championship at St. Andrews 1957 to give a record score of 279."
Locke only played in thirteen British Opens in the years prior to the car accident in 1960 which ruined his vision. He also lost six years when the Open was not played due to World War II, years in which Locke served Great Britain with distinction in the South African Air Force. After the War in 1946 Locke played a series of challenge matches in his native South Africa against American great Sam Snead. He so thoroughly trounced Snead that Snead suggested that Locke might showcase his skills on the American Tour. Locke took Snead up on the offer and arrived in America in April 1947. During the next two and a half years Locke played in fifty-nine events, winning eleven and finishing in the top three in thirty. In 1948, he won the Chicago Victory National by sixteen strokes, still a record on the PGA Tour. In fact, Locke was so good that the Tour banned him because the players didn't like a foreigner winning so much of their money. The ban was lifted in 1951, but Locke never returned to the Tour. He only played in six U.S. Opens in his career, finishing 3,4,4,3,14, and 5. Having learned the game exclusively using the British "small ball" it is remarkable that Locke could so easily switch to the American "large ball," because no other player of his time could do so. Had he played full time in America, there is no doubt that Bobby Locke would rank right next to his contemporaries Hogan, Nelson, and Snead. In his native land of South Africa, he once went a stretch of twenty years without losing a match. Truly, Bobby Locke was one of the best golfers to ever play the game, and most concede that he was the best putter of all time.
This lot has it all - historical artifacts from a legendary player setting a record at the British Open played over the hallowed grounds of St. Andrews. It doesn't get any better than this! Full LOA from PSA/DNA. Full LOA from James Spence Authentication.
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2017 June 29 Premium Sportscard Catalog Auction - Dallas