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Sam Snead paces the field in $1.65M-plus golf memorabilia auction

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The strength of Sam Snead’s enduring legacy is palpable just over a decade after his passing at age 89 as his 1949 Masters Championship Trophy sold for $143,400 in Heritage Auctions’ inaugural Golf Catalogue Auction on Dec. 6-7 in Dallas.

The spoils of Snead’s many professional victories took top lot honours, with four lots soaring into six-figure territory - rarified air for artifacts from the links.

In addition to the Masters Trophy, awarded for the legend’s first of three Masters Tournament Championships, Snead’s 1969 Ryder Cup Trophy sold for $131,450. Rounding out the quartet of memorabilia were Snead’s 1946 British Open Championship medal and 1949 PGA Championship Wanamaker Trophy, each commanding a hefty $101,575.

While the contents of Snead’s trophy case dominated the leaderboard of the event, a few intriguing offerings managed to break the top 20, notably a hoard of 3,545 signed personal checks for $34,058 and the sand wedge used to beat Ben Hogan in the famous 1954 Masters playoff round for $26,290.

Other auction highlights included:

  • Snead’s 1951 Ryder Cup Captain's Trophy, which sold nearly three times its estimate to end at $83,650.
  • The Masters Championship Gold Medal Won by Snead in 1954, which sold for $53,775 following interest from six bidders.
  • The 1960 inaugural Masters Par-3 Championship Trophy Tea Set won by Sam Snead at the first tournament brought $50,787.
  • A 1951/1959/1969 Ryder Cup Captain's Ring presented to Sam Snead doubled its estimate to close at $41,825.
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