Spring Premier Auction 2020

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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/2/2020

It has come to our attention that a young Eldrick Woods, who would grow up to become the most dominant golfer in history, owes much of his early success to an Orange, CA-based golf club refinisher named Bill Orr. Tiger wasn't the only golf icon Orr worked with. Starting in the 1970s his family business repair shop had persimmon woods and laminated clubs from the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer come through its doors for tune-ups and repair jobs. Earl Woods and his phenom offspring would drive over from their nearby home in Orange County to the shop on a monthly basis, entrusting Bill with reshaping the tools that would make Tiger a living legend. Over the course of many adolescent and teenaged years, a close friendship developed.

So it comes as no surprise that Tiger would invite his friend and mentor to his 1994 commencement ceremony at Western High School in Anaheim. This invitation is a just a bonus to the centerpiece gift in the lot bestowed upon Mr. Orr: one of the earliest autographed photos of Tiger Woods ever offered. The 9x12-inch shot of the young pup's backswing is dated "11-28-89" and signed by Tiger with the inscription, "Thanks for your super support in my development. Keep up the good work! Tiger Woods." Luckily for collectors, Tiger personalized it without actually personalizing the message with Bill's name! The bold black marker comes in 8-9/10 strength with a super early Tiger signature few have seen. Nicely matted and framed to overall dimensions of 13x17, this is easily one of the finest autographed golf pieces we've ever handled.

1994 HS grad invitation includes Tiger's original envelope hand-addressed to Bill Orr. Additional provenance includes: a snapshot photo of Bill Orr with Earl Woods; a 1996 refinishing receipt for an entire set of Tiger's irons (PW-9); 2002 Golf Extra magazine with featured article about Orr's shop and clientele.

Full LOA from Beckett (A25820) for autograph and inscription in Tiger's hand.

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $300
Final prices include buyers premium.: $3,586
Number Bids: 22
Auction closed on Saturday, May 2, 2020.
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