Judge Emily Tobolowsky of Dallas’ 298th District Court signed a temporary restraining order yesterday, halting the sale of the green jacket presented to the late professional golfer Art Wall Jr. for winning the 1959 Masters Championship.
According to the TRO, plaintiff Augusta National Inc. (ANI), the parent company of the Georgia golf club that hosts the Masters Tournament, “has produced evidence that the Wall Green Jacket was stolen from ANI,” that defendant Heritage Auctions Inc. “eventually came into possession of the Wall Green Jacket on consignment” and that “ANI is the rightful owner of, and has title and the right of sole possession to, the Wall Green Jacket,” among other things.
The order enjoins the sale of the jacket, which is set for auction on Feb. 23 in New York. It commands the sheriff or any constable within the state to “take into his possession the green jacket” and sets a March 4 hearing on a permanent injunction in Augusta National Inc. v. Heritage Auctions Inc.
A spokesperson for Heritage Auctions did not immediately return a call seeking comment. Christopher Groves, who represents ANI, could not be located for comment. ANI spokesman Steve Ethun did not immediately return a call seeking comment.
For readers who are not golf fans, a green Masters jacket is one of the most prized possessions in professional golf, and the 1959 Masters Tournament was one of the game’s most notable contests. “Art Wall Jr. put on one of the most dazzling displays of golf in the final round of 1959 to win the Masters by one stroke over Cary Middlecoff,” according to The Augusta Chronicle. “His five birdies in the final six holes, including the 11-foot putt to win on the final hole, ranks as one of the top comebacks in tournament history.”
--- John Council