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Rory McIlroy’s Open Championship golf ball sells for around £31,000

The golf ball used by Rory McIlroy to win The Open Championship has been sold on an American auction website for a staggering $52,038 (around £31,000).

McIlroy was captured by television camera’s throwing the Nike RZN Black golf ball which he used to sink his winning putt and clinch a third (now fourth) major championship into the Royal Liverpool stands last month, where it was retrieved by Lee Horner, of Leeds.

A United States-based golf memorabilia collector later purchased the golf ball from Horner via a site called Green Jacket Auctions on Sunday.

"How many chances will a collector have in their entire life to obtain the actual ball used to win a Major Championship?" Green Jacket Auctions wrote of the item on its website, before adding: "This is a ball that will only gain in significance for the next 20, 50, even 100 years. In the collecting world, this is what's called a "dream piece" - something that no one could ever expect would become available for sale; yet here it is."

It is believed to be the second-highest amount ever paid for a golf ball after the $55,865 paid in April 2011 for a Bobby Jones autographed ball.

American golfer Jones won 13 major titles as a mercurial amateur from 1923 to 1930.

What will the next big-money golf item be? Perhaps a pair of Royal & Awesome trousers? On second thoughts, those things are priceless!

OnlineGolf has a huge selection of high-quality golf balls available now, so be sure to check them out today.