Mysterious Masters Green Jacket fetches almost $140,000
An original Masters Green jacket has sold at auction for almost $140,000 – after it was discovered in a Canadian thrift store for just $5.
On the same weekend that 2017 Masters champion Sergio Garcia slipped on his green jacket, one lucky collector was getting ready to try another on for size – having snapped it up for $139,349 during a sale at the aptly-named Green Jacket Auctions.
The iconic green jackets were first introduced during the 1937 tournament, so official club members would stand out amongst the crowds, and in 1949 the club began presenting them to tournament winners, including all previous winners since 1934.
The Augusta National Golf Club rules state that green jackets can only be worn on the premises, and have to be kept in the clubhouse at all times.
Only the annual Masters champion is allowed to wear his jacket anywhere he likes, and even then it has to be returned once the new winner is crowned.
So the likelihood of a genuine green jacket finding its way out into the wild is rare – and the chances of discovering one in your local thrift store are even rarer.
But in 1994 an avid golfer did just that. Whilst searching through a pile of blazers he found what looked like a genuine green jacket, complete with the famous breast patch and a tag from Cullum's department store in Augusta dating it to the 1950s.
After making some enquiries, the club confirmed that the jacket was the real deal, but stopped short of confirming whether the jacket had belonged to a member of a previous Masters champion.
With the original name tag having been tantalisingly cut out, its first owner remains a mystery, but such is the allure of golf's Holy Grail that even without provenance, the jacket alone was able to fetch a six-figure sum.
Further highlights from the sale included the putter used by Arnold Palmer during his 1964 Masters victory, the last major title of his career, which sold for $97,690 to benefit the New Plymouth Golf Club in New Zealand.
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