Category: Green Jacket

March 04, 2013

Augusta National files suit over sale of green jacket

Posted at 6:29 PM by Coleman McDowell

BubbaIn February, Dr. Stephen Pyles, a golf memorabilia collector in Florida, tried to sell Art Wall Jr's green jacket believed to be presented to him after winning the 1959 Masters.

The sale, which was supposed to take place through Heritage Auctions in Dallas, was put under a 14-day restraining order in February after a lawsuit was filed by Augusta National Golf Club and ended with a hearing on Monday.

The club filed a lawsuit claiming each green jacket given to Masters winners or club members are property of Augusta National - not to mention the club also belives the jacket in question to be stolen.

In a confusing story with the two sides telling two vastly different tales, Augusta National claimed all green jackets belong in its clubhouse after the winners can take the jacket away from the course for one year.

"Thereafter, it must be stored on ANI (Augusta National Inc.) premises for use only on the grounds and during the annual tournament,” the lawsuit claimed according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. “Thus, a champion’s Green Jacket is owned by ANI, with a champion having possessory rights when on the premises of ANI.”

Pyles disagrees.

“I have owned six, maybe seven, green jackets," Pyles told the AJC. "I can go on the Internet right now and buy you a member’s green jacket.”

Pyles purchased Wall Jr's jacket at a 2012 auction for $62,000 and was trying to flip the jacket for "upwards of $90,000."

Augusta National also claims the jacket is stolen. After an inventory in 2010 placed the jacket on the club's premises, the lawsuit states it went missing after four jackets were stolen by former employees.

This time it's Pyles's lawyer who doesn't agree.

Mark Senter, the attorney for Heritage Auctions and Pyles, said there has been no police report to back up the claim of the theft. He refers to other newspaper stories in which Wall’s son, Greg, said his father, who died in 2001, told his family that the coat had simply disappeared and offered no other details.

Ryan Carey, owner of, said the idea that each green jacket is kept under strict security within the gates of Augusta National is “a myth that has been perpetuated for many years.”

“There are (relatively) plenty of green jackets that are out there, both members’ and champions’ jackets,” he said. “I’m not sure if Augusta National really realizes that, but I guess for the first time it is going to try to assert that it is the rightful owner of them.”

Wall Jr. earned the green jacket in question in '59 after shooting a 66 with five birdies in the final six holes to pass Arnold Palmer and Cary Middlecoff for victory.

(Photo: Kohjiro Kinno / SI)

April 23, 2012

Truth & Rumors: Harmon criticizes Haney, says Tiger lost his 'nerve'

Posted at 11:56 AM by Mick Rouse

Tiger Wood's other ex-swing coach is finally speaking out in regards to Hank Haney's polarizing book, The Big Miss, reports Jeff Neuman of The Wall Street Journal, and Butch Harmon says he was shocked by Haney's decision to include information on Tiger's family.

"I'm very surprised that he would write it," Harmon said this week. "I'd never do that to Tiger or Greg [Norman] or any of the guys I've been with. We get to spend a lot of time with these people, sometimes even more time than their own families. Things are said, or you see different things, and it's just—it is what it is, you just leave it where it belongs. I was really shocked to see him talk about Elin and Tiger's kids and stuff like that, I don't think that had any place in it."

"It almost seems the way he has everything documented in there—too many times and dates and places that you wouldn't come up with from memory—it's like he kept precise notes all along with writing a book in mind." 

While Harmon makes it clear that he wouldn't write a book about his former students in Haney-esque fashion, he's still game to analyze Tiger's swing woes.

"For me, and I think we saw this at the Masters, he looks like he's playing 'golf-swing' and not golf. In my opinion, he's very robotic. And you could see that at Augusta with all his practice swings and the double-cross shots when he's trying to fade it and he hooks it. I think everyone thought because he won at Bay Hill that he was back; well, he didn't hit it great at Bay Hill, he hit it OK. And Bay Hill's not a major."

"When I had him, I'm more of a natural-type teacher, I like to keep what you do naturally and just try to improve on it. I like to let you be creative, which he was good at."

"And for me, I think he's lost his nerve putting. I think his nerves are bad, and he's lost his confidence."

So what would Harmon do if he was back coaching the biggest name in golf? In a sense, nothing.

"If he ever asked me what I thought he needed to do, I'd tell him, look, go on the practice tee without anybody—without me, without Sean [Foley, his current coach], without Haney, without a camera, and start hitting golf shots. Hit some high draws, some low draws, high fades, low fades, move the ball up and down, move it around; don't worry about how you do it and go back to feeling it again. Quit playing golf-swing and just hit shots; just say to himself, I'm gonna hit a low fade, and I don't need anybody to tell me how to do it, I'm just gonna feel it. He's Tiger Woods, for God's sake. He doesn't know how to hit a shot?"

Little green jacket

You know what they say: like father, like son. So after Bubba Watson won the Masters this year, it was only a matter of time until son Caleb got in on the action. That's why Bubba had a second green jacket made, just for Caleb. 



Caleb even has the same Travis Matthew polo to go along with it. No word yet if he's hitting a pink driver, though.

Na remembers infamous 16

Remember that one time Kevin Na made a 16 on a single hole? Yeah, so does Kevin Na. Luckily, Na has a sense of humor about things. With a camera crew in tow (he is hosting a future episode of "Inside the PGA Tour"), Na returned to the scene of the crime Monday before this year's Valero Texas Open -- with a chainsaw. 


That's not all, though. Na replayed the No. 9 hole at TPC San Antonio to see if he could best his 16 from a year ago -- using only a 6-iron. You'll have to wait until Tuesday night on "Inside the PGA Tour" on the Golf Channel to see how he fared (6:30 p.m. Eastern if you're setting your DVR).

To top it all off, though, Na left the same shirt he wore on that fateful day in memoriam during the first round of the tournament.

China gets third European Tour event, and Rory will be there

The European Tour announced that they will be hosting a third tournament in China, according to Reuters, and the payoff will be BIG. The BMW Masters, hosted by the Jack Nicklaus-designed Lake Malaren Golf Club in Shanghai, is set to be played at the end of October and will offer a purse of $7 million. One player already marking his calendar? The world No. 1.

"I am already looking forward to teeing off at the tournament," said world number one Rory McIlroy, who won last year's Lake Malaren Shanghai Masters which is now being replaced by the new event.

"The tournament will be one of the very best events in the world. That obviously makes it all the more exciting to defend my title there," added the Northern Irishman in a statement.

Tweet of the Day

April 09, 2012

Twitter highlights from Bubba Watson's Masters wins

Posted at 4:33 PM by Jillian Whalen

Truth & Rumors: Awkward Masters handshake, and Christina Kim vs. Bubba

Posted at 2:05 PM by Mick Rouse

We've all been there: a handshake that goes awry. Except for most of us, the awkward encounter isn't captured on live television. During the Masters. While receiving the coveted green jacket. Enter Masters champ Bubba Watson and chairman of Augusta National Billy Payne.

As Payne instructs 2010 Master's champion Charl Schwartzel to present Bubba with his green jacket, Bubba mistakes Payne's outstretched hand as an offer of congratulations. With a sly move that suggests this isn't the first time this has happened in his life, Bubba swivels to offer his now outstretched hand to Schwartzel. Payne, a little slow on the uptake, then realizes Bubba was trying to shake his hand, but offers his back a fraction of a second too late and receives a whole lot of Bubba's cold, cruel shoulder. Commence awkward face scratch. This encounter would probably be a whole lot more embarrassing if not for the fact that Bubba just won the freakin' Masters. In fact, I think it may raise a more important question: Could the Masters green jacket ceremony be any more boring?

'Bashful Prince' Ishikawa finds his princess

After another lackluster showing at the Masters (he's missed the cut three out of four times), Ryo Ishikawa returned home to Japan where legions of disappointed fans and reporters awaited. According to The Wall Street Journal, though, Ishikawa's Masters performance was quickly forgotten as he announced upon arrival that he is now engaged to his junior high school sweetheart. 

“I turned 20, so I feel like it’s a good time to make this decision,” Ishikawa said, referring to his coming of age in Japan.

While Ryo remained mum on the identity of his wife-to-be, not even revealing her first name, he did reveal that her father wasn't the only person whose blessing he sought.

Back in Japan, Ishikawa’s face is ubiquitous both on and off the green. He was the face for 17 ad campaigns from Panasonic to Lotte in 2011, appearing in more commercials than any other male celebrity for the third year running, according to market researcher Nihon Monitor.

“I informed my sponsors last month,” Ishikawa said. “And I got their blessing.”

Christina Kim goes OFF on Bubba on Twitter

In case you hadn't heard, Christina Kim isn't the biggest fan of Bubba Watson. Therefore, it was no surprise that Bubba's name would be brought up while Kim tweeted through the final round of the Masters. It all began when one of Kim's followers became upset that Christina was tweeting her support for Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen as opposed to a fellow American--specifically Bubba.

Kim was just warming up. Over the next three hours or so, she let loose a barrage on the Masters winner. Luckily for you, we've extracted the highlights of Kim's candid tweets.

Following his playoff victory, Kim held back on the Bubba bashing, offering up a seemingly sincere congratulations.

This is surely the end to it all, right? RIGHT?! Wrong. Apparently Kim's attempt to take the high road further incensed Bubba's fans.

How did it all round out? With Bubba interjecting his two cents? Not quite.

Sometimes I wonder what we did for entertainment before Twitter...

Tweet of the Day

Bubba Watson didn't get in on Christina Kim's Twitter rant, but that's probably because he couldn't get his phone to stop ringing.

Bubba did make his presence known in this mini-Twitter feud featuring Piers Morgan, though.

April 12, 2011

Rory McIlroy and Charl Schwartzel share flight to Malaysia

Posted at 10:15 AM by Mike Walker

Twitter limits you to 140 characters, but a picture's still worth a thousand words...

Rory McIlory: Flying to Malaysia with charl! Glad one of us has a green jacket on!!!


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