A few weeks ago, we let you know that an Arnold Palmer Masters trophy was for sale at Green Jacket Auctions for $107,000 and counting. The "and counting" turned out to be the key phrase, because the rare collectible wound up selling for more than four times that.
On Sunday morning, bidding on this piece of golf history ended at $444,012. That is believed to be the second-highest price fetched by a piece of golf memorabilia ever. The record is the $682,229 Green Jacket Auctions sold Horton Smith's 1936 Masters green jacket for in 2013.
"Arnie did it again," Ryan Carey, co-owner of Green Jacket Auctions, told ESPN's Darren Rovell. "We knew that this was a special piece, but even we were impressed by the level of interest from Arnold Palmer fans. Simply put, people love Arnold Palmer. There's a strong case to be made that Arnold Palmer is destined to become the face of the modern golf collecting hobby."
According to a statement in the ESPN report, the Palmer family found the sale "disappointing." The trophy, one of four owned by Palmer for his four Masters victories, was intended to be shown at a golf museum at Bay Creek Resort in Charles, Va., that was never built.
"Ultimately, these owners did not build the museum and, instead of sending the trophy to Arnold, the owners sold the trophy to a third party without notifying the family," the statement from the Palmer family said. "It was always Arnold's intention that this trophy would be placed in an appropriate museum or institution with which he was personally associated. We hope that the winning bidder in this auction will allow the trophy to be publicly displayed so that it can be appreciated by fans of Arnold Palmer for years to come."
The identity of the buyer is unknown and so are his/her intentions with it. Maybe it will be publicly displayed. Or maybe it was just a really expensive Christmas gift.