In the instant after he putted out to win the 2014 Open Championship, Rory McIlroy reached into the hole, palmed the ball, and sailed it into the crowd. The thought of every single person watching that telecast was the same — somebody's gonna sell that ball for big cash — and now, that expectation has come to pass.
Green Jacket Auctions, which has achieved some notoriety in the golf world for auctioning a very specific item (hint: see the company's name), offered $10,000 on Twitter for the ball right afterward:
Who caught that ball Rory McIlroy threw after holing out on 18? We'll pay $10,000 for it— GreenJacketAuctions (@BidGreenJacket) July 20, 2014
Lee Horner of England caught the ball, describing the action to ESPN.com in a spectacularly British way: "When Rory threw the ball, it hit me in the hand and then fell down," Horner said. "There was a kerfuffle, but I managed to get it and hold it in the air and the crowd went crazy."
Horner initially tossed the ball into a drawer at his office, but found out about Green Jacket Auctions' interest. Green Jacket Auctions and Nike later authenticated the ball, and away it all went. Horner has consigned the ball to auction, and will give Green Jacket 15 percent of the final bidding price.
Bidding was about $3,400 as of Monday morning. You can follow the action at the auction, which lasts until August 9, right here.
Update: As of Tuesday at 1 PM ET, the bidding has gone up to nearly $6,000. Maybe $10,000 wasn't far off!