The only trophy won by golf legend Robert ‘Bobby’ Jones still known to be in private hands is expected to fetch £20,000-£30,000 when it goes up for auction later this month.
The lot is being offered by Bonhams in its next sporting sale in Edinburgh with the trophy commemorating Jones’ win at a tournament more than 100 years ago.
Jones, a seven-time major winner, was only 14 when he entered the 128-strong field for the three-day invitational tournament hosted by Cherokee Country Club, Tennessee, in summer 1916.
Despite his age, 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'. It is believed to be one of the first prizes that Jones ever won for golf and the only known cup.
A lawyer by profession, Robert Jones (1902-1971) was a part-time golf player, yet between 1923 and 1930 won 13 of the 21 championships that he entered. In 1930, aged 28, he won all the major golf tournaments – The US Amateur, US Open, Amateur, and Open Championships – in the same year, becoming the first and only golfer to achieve the feat.
Jones 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.
Jones had a special relationship with Scotland, and in particular with St Andrews. In 1958, he was awarded the Freedom of St Andrews, only the second American to have been given the honour after Benjamin Franklin.
Henry Baggott, Bonhams head of sporting sales, said: “Bobby Jones is a legend to golf enthusiasts and 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.”