FORBES.COM : A Tiger Woods Backup Putter Fetches Over $150,000 At Auction

Mike Dojc Contributor SportsMoney I cover the world of golf for Forbes.com

Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the first
Tiger Woods lines up a putt on the first hole during his 18-hole playoff against Rocco Mediate, at … [+] AFP VIA GETTY IMAGES

Tiger Woods’ Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS (German Stainless Steel) with the “cherry bomb” red dot on the heel side of the face and another one in the back cavity is the most fabled flatstick on the planet.  The putter has been in Tiger’s hand for some of the greatest makes in golf history including the 60-foot downhill triple breaker from the fringe at the 2001 Players Championship as well as his super clutch playoff-forcer on the 72nd hole of the 2008 U.S Open that prompted one of his most memorable post-plunk celebrations. The blade, a consistent presence in TW’s bag from 1999 until 2010 before reclaiming its spot in recent years, was his trusted putter for 14 of his 15 major championships.

At a Golden Age Golf Auctions sale that closed Sunday, a backup of Tiger’s iconic gamer went gavel down for $154,928 despite never seeing a round of PGA Tour action. Over the years Scotty Cameron produced understudy putters for Tiger to practice with or put into use in the event his go-to club was compromised in anyway or he felt the need to swap out. The specs, grip, and red name stamp on the back bumpers of the backup are identical to the original.

The backup putter produced in 2001, the year of the Tiger Slam, was the most viewed lot in the auction house’s 14-year history with 74,000 prospective bidders eyeballing the lot and 55 bids coming in.  Their previous record for a backup Tiger putter was $88,809 in 2019 with another going for $44,401 in 2018. It’s clear that Tiger’s 2019 Masters win coupled with his 82nd PGA Tour title at the Zozo Championship to tie Sam Snead’s mark for the most wins in PGA Tour history added a great deal of loft to his memorabilia prices.  Even a recently sold Tiger putter that saw play in the 1990s didn’t attract the same bidding fervor.  That club, a Tiger-used 1997 Scotty Cameron TeI3 Newport, originally sold at a charity auction by former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed and fetched $53,145.60 at a 2018 Golden Age Golf auction

“I knew it was going to be the highest selling putter because of the provenance and everybody saying this is the closest to what he actually used to win fourteen of his majors,” said Golden Age Golf Auctions co-founder Bob Zafian.

If Tiger’s actual tournament tested Scotty Cameron Newport 2 GSS that he’s toted for two decades with a wear mark spot in the middle of the face from all the center struck putts he’s coaxed toward the hole ever came up on the auction block, Zafian predicts it’d fetch $3-5 million. MORE FOR YOUGolf Bag Makers See Surge In OrdersJack Nicklaus Warhol Painting Is Top Draw At Christie’s AuctionWill 2021 Be The Year 3D-Printed Golf Gear Goes Mainstream?

“It probably wouldn’t go to a golf [specific] collector,” adds Zafian. “A lot of the high-end stuff like claret jugs and Masters trophies go to people who are sports collectors or a person who’d love an armful of Rolexes—someone who likes fine quality things that nobody else can have.”

The only possible golf club in the world that could go for more according to Zafian is astronaut Alan Shepard’s moon club—a six-iron head attached to a rock collecting tool that currently resides in the USGA Museum.

“That would be a $10 million-dollar club.”Follow me on TwitterMike Dojc

I have been slinging golf stories for a diverse client roster that has included everything from inflight magazines to tour event programs for almost twenty years. My… Read More

Jan 1, 2021,06:51pm EST

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