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    Rory McIlroy's Open Championship ball fetches $52K

  • Rory McIlroy throws his ball into the stands at Royal Liverpool after winning The Open Championship (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images) Rory McIlroy throws his ball into the stands at Royal Liverpool after winning The Open Championship (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Three weeks after Green Jacket Auctions put the ball Rory McIlroy used to win The Open Championship on the auction block, a golf memorabilia collector purchased the ball on Sunday for $52,038.

McIlroy threw the Nike RZN Black ball he used to win his third major championship at Royal Liverpool Golf Club in the stands, where it was caught by Lee Horner of Leeds, England.

After holding onto the ball for a several days, Horner decided to sell it to Green Jacket Auctions — the same auction house that sold Ben Hogan's 1953 MacGregor irons, and the clubs Al Geiberger used to to shoot the first 59 ever recorded on the PGA TOUR.

According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the $52,038 paid for the McIlroy ball is the second-highest for a golf ball after the $55,865 that was paid in April 2011 for a Bobby Jones autographed ball.

"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."

Apparently, someone agreed with the auction house's assessment. A total of 45 bids were placed by 22 different bidders from across the world.  

Rory McIlroy wins The Open Championship
  • Highlights

    Rory McIlroy wins The Open Championship

Rory McIlroy wins The Open Championship
  • Highlights

    Rory McIlroy wins The Open Championship

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