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green jacketThe green jacket owned by Horton Smith, winner of the first ever Masters Tournament in 1934, was recently sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for nearly $700,000.

From its inception in 1934, Smith was a leader of the early years of the PGA Tour. At the time of his victory in 1934, the Masters Tournament was known by its original title, the Augusta National Invitational Tournament”. It wasn?t until 1939 that the current name was adopted and another ten years after that the green jacket became a tradition. Smith along with the other 8 Masters champions in the years 1934-48 was awarded his jacket in 1949. He played in every Masters Tournament 27 total until his death at age 55. His 32 Tour victories and two Masters Championships landed him a well-deserved spot in the Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.

Smith?s single-breasted two button size 43 long jacket had been assumed lost for decades ? Turns out it was collecting dust in someone?s closet. This past July a distant relative realized its value and gave Green Jacket Auctions a call to let them know it was safe sound and up for sale.

Of course $682 229.45 is much more than most of us can afford for a blazer. Yet I would have thought this artifact would sell for far more than the highest bid. Nonetheless this $700K jacket sets the record for the most expensive piece of golf memorabilia ever sold.

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Photo: Gary Player’s green jacket (Golf Library)

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