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Tiger Woods’ first pro hole-in-one ball up for auction

"It unquestionably ranks among the finest artifacts of Tiger Woods peerless career ever made available at public auction. "

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The golf ball Tiger Woods' used to score his first professional hole-in-one is up for auction. (Heritage Auctions, HA.com via SWNS)

By Dean Murray via SWNS

The golf ball Tiger Woods' used to score his first professional hole-in-one is up for auction.

Woods made his pro debut in 1996 at 20 at the Greater Milwaukee Open golf tournament.

Playing four days after winning his third consecutive U.S. Amateur title, he wowed the crowd at the 14th hole with his feat during his final round.

Woods shot -7 for the tournament, and would come tied for 60th to earn $2,544.

Now the lucky member of the crowd who caught the Titleist 1 ball has put the signed memento up for sale, starting at an estimate of $50,000.

Dallas-based Heritage Auctions said the lot comes with a letter of provenance signed by seller Bob Gustin and three fellow attendees.

The golf ball Tiger Woods' used to score his first professional hole-in-one is up for auction. (Heritage Auctions, HA.com via SWNS)

It reads: "On September 1st, 1996, I attended the Greater Milwaukee Open golf tournament along with my fiancé Nancy Bolman, at that time, now my wife of 25 years, my wife's sister Diane Beck and her husband David Beck. We brought lawn chairs and set up behind the par 3 14th hole.

"Later in the day, Tiger Woods came to the tee box and hit a six iron into the hole for a 'hole in one.'

"When Tiger arrived at the green and pulled the ball from the hole, my brother-in-law, David Beck, yelled out to Tiger 'throw the ball out,' which he promptly did and right at us.

"Dave grabbed for the ball but it bounced off his hand and right into my lap.

"Being an avid collector, I wanted to try and get Tiger to sign the ball. I found a staff member that was able to get the ball to Tom Strong, the tournament director, who was able to get Tiger to sign the ball for me.

"I also saved the video from the evening news on a VCR tape. That video is still available online at PGA TOUR Video Tiger Woods hole in one 1996."

Online videos show the baby-faced legend on the rise making the shot and then tossing the ball into the crowd, just as the letter describes.

The golf ball Tiger Woods' used to score his first professional hole-in-one is up for auction. (Heritage Auctions, HA.com via SWNS)

Such was the importance of the tournament in Woods' career, a ticket from the event sold in February for $99,000.

"The ball is a "Titleist 1" that presents one of the finest (and certainly earliest) Woods autographs we've ever encountered on a golf ball, even when removing consideration of its extraordinary historical significance," Heritage Auction said.

"It unquestionably ranks among the finest artifacts of Tiger Woods peerless career ever made available at public auction. "

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