Lucky Lee’s Open catch from Rory McIlroy nets £31,000 at auction

Lee Horner with the �31,000 ball at the British Open.

Lee Horner with the �31,000 ball at the British Open.

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A British Open-winning golf ball caught by a Leeds man has been sold at auction for around £31,000.

Open champion Rory McIlroy threw the ball into the crowd at the 18th hole at Hoylake as he clinched his third major title last month, with 49-year-old Lee Horner catching it in the stands.

The 49-year-old, from Cross Gates, was tracked down following a Twitter campaign by US memorabilia website Green Jacket Auctions and agreed to ship the custom Nike RZN Black “RORS” golf ball to America.

The gavel went down on the online auction earlier this week to land Lee more than £20,000 after commission.

He said: “I love playing golf, I play quite regularly very, very badly – I haven’t even got a handicap. I spend more time trying to find balls than anything else so I just thought somebody else might get more from the ball than I would, it’s just a ball at the end of the day.”

It is believed to be the second highest price ever paid for a golf ball, after a vintage ball autographed by Bobby Jones sold for over £33,000 in 2011.

People around the world are marking Earth Hour this evening. People in Britain are expected to join in at 8.30pm... and then they will switch their clocks forward tonight as British Summer Time begins.

Get ready to turn your clocks forward... but before that expect things to get much darker