ST. ANDREWS, Scotland – Sam Snead won the Open Championship in 1946 at St. Andrews, beating fellow American Johnny Bulla and South African Bobby Locke by four shots to capture his second major title.
It was the first time the Open had been played since the war started in 1939 and the first time an American had won the oldest major since Denny Shute in 1933.
Snead received a check for 150 pounds (then about $600), a gold medal and the Claret Jug for winning the Open Championship.
The same Claret Jug that Snead received was sold Thursday night for $262,900 at Heritage Auctions in Rosemont, Ill. The jug was the centerpiece of The Sam Snead Collection, 14 featured lots that would generate a total of $1,106,868 for the Snead family, which consigned the rare memorabilia for sale.
“Quality will always sell,” Graham Rowley, owner of Old Sports Auctions, said Friday about interest in the Snead Collection. “It doesn’t surprise me at all. These type of items come around only occasionally, bringing the serious collectors out of the woodwork wanting to buy.
Snead’s 1954 Masters trophy, won in a playoff against Ben Hogan, also was part of the collection and sold for $191,200.
According to the auction house, more of Snead’s collection will be auctioned in 2014.
Final Results of Sam Snead Collection Auction
1939 Masters Championship Runner-Up Medal: $23,900
1942 PGA Championship Gold Medal: $50,787.50
1946 British Open Championship Claret Jug: $262,900
1947 U.S. Open Runner-Up Silver Medal: $26,290
1949 Masters Championship Golf Medal: $50,787.50
1949-52-54 Masters Championship plaque: $38,837.50
1951 PGA Championship Wanamaker Trophy: $119,500
1954 Masters Championship trophy: $191,200
1954 Masters Tournament-winning putter: $41,825
1959 Ryder Cup trophy: $179,250
1969 Ryder Cup captain’s jacket: $31,070
1974 Golf Hall of Fame plaque: $26,290
1998 PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award: $23,900
1960s-’70s Tournament-used bag with set of clubs signed by Sam Snead: $40,331.25