Tiger Woods’ Golf Ball From 1997 Masters Win Sold For $64,000 At Auction

A golf ball from Tiger Woods’ record-breaking victory at the 1997 Masters at Augusta National was sold at auction for $64,124

Tiger Woods wins the 1997 Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A ball given to a youngster by Tiger Woods during his famous 1997 victory at The Masters has fetched over $64,000 at auction.

Julian Nexsen was an excited nine-year-old when Woods handed him his ball at Augusta National following a bogey at the fifth hole during his final round.

Woods went on to win the Green Jacket for the first of his 15 Major victories in historic fashion – claiming a record 12-stroke victory over Tom Kite with a record-breaking score of 18 under par.

The 82-time PGA Tour winner broke Jack Nicklaus’ scoring record during his success, but was later eclipsed by Dustin Johnson’s 20 under par he scored during his Masters victory in November 2020.  

Mr Nexsen held onto the memento for 26 years until putting it up for sale with Golden Age Auctions on March 27, with the bidding ending on Masters Sunday this year.

With a starting price of $500, there was obviously a lot of interest in a piece of Tiger memorabilia, given the headlines Woods was making for being back at Augusta again this year – although he had to withdraw after making the cut with yet more injury problems.

Eventually settling on $64,124 – the ball is now off to one lucky golf fan’s collection and could possibly be the only certified ball from that 1997 Woods victory available.

"Unless Tiger himself or his caddie Fluff intentionally saved a ball from this historic final round, this may be the only confirmed golf ball from the final round of Tiger Woods' first Major Championship victory," said Golden Age Auctions.

Tiger Woods' 1997 Masters golf ball sold at auction

(Image credit: Golden Age Auctions)

Mr Nexsen signed a legal declaration about the authenticity of the ball and had plenty of witnesses of his interaction with Woods at Augusta – luckily enough with one being a Washington Post reporter.

The newspaper even reported the moment, printing: "After making his first bogey in 36 holes yesterday, Woods stopped on his way to the sixth tee to give a ball to 9-year-old Julian Nexsen of Greenville, SC.”

The sale item saw the golf ball framed along with the Washington Post report, Mr Nexsen’s badge from the 1997 Masters along with a final round pairings sheet.

Paul Higham

Paul Higham is a sports journalist with over 20 years of experience in covering most major sporting events for both Sky Sports and BBC Sport. He is currently freelance and covers the golf majors on the BBC Sport website.  Highlights over the years include covering that epic Monday finish in the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor and watching Rory McIlroy produce one of the most dominant Major wins at the 2011 US Open at Congressional. He also writes betting previews and still feels strangely proud of backing Danny Willett when he won the Masters in 2016 - Willett also praised his putting stroke during a media event before the Open at Hoylake. Favourite interviews he's conducted have been with McIlroy, Paul McGinley, Thomas Bjorn, Rickie Fowler and the enigma that is Victor Dubuisson. A big fan of watching any golf from any tour, sadly he spends more time writing about golf than playing these days with two young children, and as a big fair weather golfer claims playing in shorts is worth at least five shots. Being from Liverpool he loves the likes of Hoylake, Birkdale and the stretch of tracks along England's Golf Coast, but would say his favourite courses played are Kingsbarns and Portrush.