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While most casual golfers will never play at the level of stars like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, a recently announced auction will allow one lucky fan to at least look like a Masters champion.
Green Jacket Auctions, an auction house specializing in golf memorabilia, recently revealed its collection for 2017. From vintage programs to wooden clubs, there’s a lot to sift through, but the collection features one clear gem: a genuine Masters champion’s green jacket that once belonged to the great Byron Nelson.
While the bidding started at $25,000, the price has already increased from there. The site expects the jacket to ultimately sell for over $250,000.
This is just the fourth champion’s jacket ever to go up for public sale. The last one to hit the open market belonged to Horton Smith, winner of the first Masters Tournament back in 1934, and sold for a whopping $682,229 in 2013. Green Jacket Auctions estimates that the article would now be worth over $1 million.
But while the pioneering nature of Smith’s jacket certainly adds to its value, many golf fans would prefer to have a garment once owned by Nelson. A Texas native, Nelson won five majors and 52 PGA Tour events before calling it a career at the age of 34. His record of 11 consecutive tournament wins, set in 1945, is likely to stand for as long as the game is played.
Nelson is thought to have owned five green jackets during his lifetime, with this one being issued in 1966 and replaced in the early ’80s. Most early green jackets have been lost – they didn’t take on their symbolic significance until decades later – while newer ones are deemed property of Augusta National and return to the club after a year with the tournament winner. They’ll only get rarer as time goes on, so it makes sense that Green Jacket Auctions is seeking an arm and a leg.
The auction will conclude on August 19.