UPDATE: Giant golf ball recovered, needs repairs

18 Drives Through Dublin
Have you seen this golf ball? (Photo: Courtesy of City of Dublin)
  UPDATE: Holly Zachariah of The Columbus Dispatch reported that the giant golf ball sculpture stolen from outside Muirfield Village Golf Club after last week's Presidents Cup has been recovered, though not quite unharmed.
A passerby spotted the ball -- which, with tee, is about 5½ feet tall and weighs more than 200 pounds --today alongside the road in the 8200 block of Dublin Road, city officials said ... Sandra Puskarcik, the city's spokeswoman, wrote in a news release that officials are happy to have the artwork back but noted the city will now have to cover the cost of repairs for the damage: scratches and a foot-long crack.
The Dublin police had offered immunity in exchange for the safe return of the sculpture (reportedly worth about $2,500) by midnight Saturday, so no word yet on what, if any, continuing efforts will be made to bring the golf ball thieves to justice. We all know the penalty for a lost golf ball. But what about a stolen one?
For now, at least, there’s no price to pay at all.
That’s the word this week from Memorial Tournament officials, who say they’ll ask no questions and press no charges in exchange for the undamaged return of a five-and-a-half-foot-tall golf ball statue that used to stand at Dublin Road and Memorial Drive, near the entrance of Muirfiled Village in Ohio. According to Randy Ludlow of The Columbus Dispatch, the outsize sphere, and the tee it stood on, were reported missing Monday.
Together, the two objects weigh more than 200 pounds, so the mystery isn’t just who lifted them, but how?
The golf ball was one of 18 of its kind in a public art exhibition called 18 Drives Through Dublin. The balls were sold to sponsors for $1,500 each, decorated by artists and put on display around Muirfield just prior to the start of the Presidents Cup.
The exhibit will remain on display through June 2014, but amnesty for the thieves (call it a local ruling) won’t last nearly that long.
The deal is good only until Sunday. After that, Dublin police say, the crime will be treated as a felony. For more news that golfers everywhere are talking about, follow @si_golf on Twitter, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube video channel.

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by Kevin Cunningham