Bobby Jones' green jacket up for auction

A green jacket that belonged to Bobby Jones, co-founder of the Masters Tournament and Augusta National Golf Club, will be up for auction in August.

Heritage Auctions will put the iconic garment up for bid Aug. 4 in conjunction with the Chicago National Sports Show in Rosemont, Ill.

The auction house expects the jacket to fetch more than $100,000. Green jackets rarely come up for sale because Augusta National restricts the jackets from being taken off club grounds, and the only exception is that the winner of the Masters gets to keep it for a year.

"In the realm of golf, Jones' name reigns supreme," Chris Ivy, director of Heritage Sports Collectibles, said in a statement.

An Augusta National spokesman said the club had no comment on the upcoming auction.

The two-button wool jacket features a patch with the letters "ANGC" on the left breast. The initials "RTJ" are also sewn onto the jacket.

The auction house says the Jones jacket dates to 1937, when Augusta National members began to wear them. The idea was to have Augusta National members be easily identifiable so they could answer questions from patrons.

Winners of the Masters began receiving the jacket in 1949.

According to Heritage, Jones gave the jacket as a gift to the artist who painted his portrait that hangs in the Augusta National clubhouse. Thomas Stephens painted portraits of Jones, Clifford Roberts and President Eisenhower that hang in the Trophy Room of the clubhouse, but it is not known if Stephens was the artist who received the jacket.

The auction house said the artist sold the jacket, and it has a notarized letter that traces the chain of custody. A second letter of authenticity from former club photographer Frank Christian verifies the style of jacket as being the earliest of its kind, according to Heritage.

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