Rory McIlroy's Open Championship winning ball makes €39k at auction
The ball which Rory McIlroy fired into the crowd following his Open Championship win at Hoylake has made an astonishing €39k ($52k) at auction.
A golf memorabilia collector purchased the ball on Sunday for $52,038 three weeks after it appeared on Green Jacket Auctions.
Overcome with delight, McIlroy flung the Nike RZN Black ball he used to win his third major championship at Royal Liverpool into the stands and it was caught by Lee Horner from Leeds.
"How many chances will a collector have in their entire life to obtain the actual ball used to win a Major Championship?" Green Jacket Auctions said on its website.
"This is a ball that will only gain in significance for the next 20, 50, even 100 years. In the collecting world, this is what's called a "dream piece" - something that no one could ever expect would become available for sale; yet here it is."
Someone reportedly agreed with the auction house's assessment. A total of 45 bids were placed by 22 different bidders from across the world over the three weeks.