The 2013 Masters featured a defining moment when Tiger Woods was assessed a two stroke penalty for a misplaced drop of his ball. Many feel that this ruling was instrumental in shaping the eventual outcome of the event. Woods’ incorrect drop was first pointed out to the Masters Rules Committee by David Eger, who witnessed the infraction while viewing the tournament from his home. Eger, a Champions Tour player and former top amateur talent, was qualified to make this observation having served previously as head of rules and competition for both the United States Golf Association and the P.G.A.
Another rules infraction that may have shaped the outcome of the Masters occurred 65 years earlier, in 1948, as participants prepared for the upcoming weeks tournament with a casual Sunday practice round.
Among those players that day was Frank Stranahan, the top amateur golfer in the world, who had finished as runner up to champion Jimmy Demaret by two strokes in the 1947 Masters. As Stranahan played his round, the Augusta National head groundskeeper came up and unceremoniously told him that his invitation to play in the Masters was being revoked for violating the National’s rule against hitting additional practice shots into greens. Stranahan, supported by the top touring pros of the day, protested this ruling to Tournament founders Clifford Roberts and Bobby Jones, but his defense feel on deaf ears, his invitation was rescinded, and one of the pre-tournament favorites was out of the ’48 Masters.
The Golf Auction is currently conducting its Spring internet auction featuring more than 800 lots of golf collectables including the collections of Eger and Stranahan along with items from the estate of Hall of Fame course designer Robert Trent Jones, Sr. and the 1940’s/50’s PGA golfing brothers Charley and Toney Penna. Included are championship medals, trophies, player used clubs, and autographed material from Bobby Jones and virtually every past Masters champion. Highlights of the items offered from the collections of these luminaries of Golf are listed below:
1947 Masters Runners-up Silver Medal, 1953 Masters Low Amateur Trophy, 1954 Masters Crystal for his eagle at 14, Early Masters’ contestant gifts, 1953 Silver Medal Low Amateur British Open
Tiger Woods match used and signed flag from 17th hole 1993 U.S. Amateur (Tiger’s first major triumph, Eger officiates for U.S.G.A.), Player issued gifts and credentials from Eger’s three Walker Cup appearances, Trophies from his North and South Amateur win and his 2000 Amateur Player of the Year award
ROBERT TRENT JONES SR.
Hand drawn course sketches, framed artwork from various courses he designed
CHARLEY AND TONEY PENNA
Significant offering of match used and prototype clubs, Toney’s spec book from his days as head of design for MacGregor.
The auction is currently underway at TheGolfAuction.com and concludes with the first 400 items on Thursday, April 10, and the second 400 items closing on Sunday, April 13.