Masters green jacket costs £192 to make but one once sold for almost £525,000

The first ever green jacket to be presented to a Masters winner once sold at auction for more than half a million pounds.

The jacket has become one of the most famous clothing items in sport, with Scottie Scheffler the current favourite to be acquiring one on Sunday after taking a three-shot lead into the final day. Regardless, it will be 2021 champion Hideki Matsuyama in charge of the fitting.

Tiger Woods is out of contention despite his remarkable return from injury, so for now, will have to settle for a mere total of five green jackets. That leaved second only to the great Jack Nicklaus, who has six.

The £2.07 million prize-money fund that the winner will receive this year is incomparable to the £1,152 on offer when the tournament was first played in 1934. It was then called the Augusta National Invitation Tournament, and won by American Horton Smith.

He would also win again in 1936, although back then there was no jacket – which costs approximately £192 to make – at the presentations. The Augusta National Golf Club only started that tradition in 1949, when the great Sam Snead prevailed.

However, the club did belatedly award jackets to the nine Masters winners from 1934-48, including Smith, who died in 1963, aged 55. According to a report by ESPN, his item was believed to be lost, but in March 2013 the auction house received a call from a distant family member.

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The jacket had apparently been hanging in a wardrobe for decades. And sure enough, Green Jacket Auctions, a company based in New Jersey, confirmed the jacket sold for almost £525,000 – although they never identified the buyer.

Smith, who was elected to the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1990, racked up 30 PGA Tour titles in total, the last of them in 1941. He was also a member of five Ryder Cup teams, with his debut coming in 1929.

But if Scheffler does prevail on Sunday, he's unlikely to be selling on his own jacket anytime soon. The 25-year-old will tee off with a three-shot lead over playing partner Cameron Smith as he bids for a first major championship.

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