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First Masters green jacket found, nets whopping price at auction

September 09, 2013|By David Wharton
  • The original green jacket awarded to 1934 and 1936 Masters champion Horton Smith was sold for $682,229.45.
The original green jacket awarded to 1934 and 1936 Masters champion Horton… (Screenshot from greenjacketauctions.com )

Nearly eight decades have passed since Horton Smith won the 1934 Masters, so he isn't exactly a household name among golf fans.

But for aficionados who collect memorabilia from the sport, Smith is a Holy Grail-type figure because he received the first green jacket ever awarded by Augusta National Golf Club.

The hallowed garment was only recently discovered by a family member -- it had been hanging in a closet all this time -- and was promptly put up for sale. According to Green Jacket Auctions, it fetched $682,229.45 from an unidentified bidder over the weekend.

The auction house says that is the most ever paid for a piece of golf memorabilia.

When Smith won his first Masters -- and his second in 1936 -- Augusta National had yet to adopt the custom of awarding a jacket. That wouldn't begin until 1949.

But, at that point, officials went back and retroactively sent coats to the winners from 1934 through '48.

Smith, who died in 1963, is credited with 28 PGA Tour victories and was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990.

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