St Andrews golfing legend’s trophy up for auction

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A golfing trophy won by one of only two Americans to be awarded the Freedom of St Andrews is coming up for auction.

Golfing legend Robert ‘Bobby’ Jones was only 14 when he won the three-day invitational tournament hosted by Cherokee Country Club, Knoxville, Tennessee in the summer of 1916.

One of a 128-strong field, he won the final round after just 14 holes with a five shot lead, and was awarded the trophy, inscribed to “R.T Jones Jnr.”

His trophy, still known to be in private hands, is to be offered at Bonhams next Sporting Sale in Edinburgh on Tuesday, May 23. It is estimated at £20,000-30,000.

Jones had a special relationship with Scotland, and in particular with St Andrews and was awarded the Freedom of St Andrews, in 1958 – the second American to be given the honour after Benjamin Franklin, one of the Founding fathers of the United States, who was given freedom of the town in 1759.

Jones, who passed away in 1971 was only a part-time golf player – he was a lawyer by profession – yet between 1923 and 1930 won 13 of the 21 championship that he entered.

In 1930, aged 28, he won all the major golf tournaments – the U.S. Amateur, U.S. Open, Amateur, and Open Championships – in the same year, the first and only golfer in the game’s history to achieve this feat.

He retired from competitive golf in 1930 to concentrate on his law practice, but remained involved in the game as a course designer.

He was also a co-founder of the Masters Tournament, now one of the world’s major golf tournaments.

Henry Baggott, Bonhams’ head of sporting sales, said, “Bobby Jones is a legend to golf enthusiasts.

“The records he set as an amateur player are unlikely ever to be matched.

“The cup is early proof of his incredible talent and it is a great privilege to be offering it for sale.”