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Brent Kelley

Horton Smith's Green Jacket Sets Auction Record for Golf Memorabilia

By September 10, 2013

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How much do you think the Masters Green Jacket once owned by Horton Smith, the winner of the very first Masters, would sell for at auction?

The correct answer is $682,229.45. That's that winning bid in an auction recently conducted by GreenJacketAuctions.com. According to the auction house, that's the highest price paid for a piece of golf memorabilia.

Smith won the 1934 Masters, the first one played, and won again in 1936. At that time, The Masters did not give out green jackets to winners - that's a tradition that started in 1949, when Sam Snead won.

However, once Augusta National started awarding the Green Jacket to winners, it also had jackets made for the previous winners - those who won prior to 1949. And that's how Smith received his.

Smith died in 1963, and the location of his jacket was lost over time. But several months ago, a distant relative of Smith's called and informed Green Jacket Auctions that Smith's jacket had been found hanging in a closet. It had simply been forgotten.

The auction house verified the authenticity of the jacket, and the auction began on Aug. 21. It ended on Sept. 8, after 37 bids, and with the sale price nearly reaching $700,000. The identity of the winner bidder was not released.

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