The popular web auction site Green Jacket Auctions is being sued by the Augusta National Golf Club, according to the Associated Press.
The Georgia company that owns Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters golf tournament on Monday asked a judge to stop a golf memorabilia company from auctioning off a Masters champion's green jacket and other items it says were never supposed to have left the club's grounds.
The crux of the issue is that Green Jacket Auctions has opened bidding on three different green jackets including the one Byron Nelson was issued in 1966 for winning the Masters earlier in his life (it is listed at over $114,000 at the time of this writing). ANGC is asking them to stop selling these as well as some silverware and a belt buckle with various ANGC logos on them.
Their argument is that those pieces of memorabilia were not supposed to leave Augusta grounds and were wrongfully possessed.
"It appears that Augusta National Golf Club is attempting to assert ownership claims to every green jacket ever produced, regardless of who currently owns or possesses the jackets," Green Jacket Auctions co-owner Ryan Carey told the AP. "Obviously, we at Green Jacket Auctions dispute such claims, and will litigate the matter, if necessary."
I'm not sure that's a road you want to go down. Green Jacket Auctions has some truly historic and amazing pieces on its site right now even without the Masters gear, so it's unfortunate that this lawsuit is unfolding. And who knows where it goes from here. Augusta National is essentially claiming that some of the gear in Green Jacket Auctions' possession is stolen. GJA is saying it won't back down. It sounds like the road ahead is long and will be a slog.