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19th Hole

Judge: Augusta National gets to keep contested green jackets during lawsuit

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Is there an entity in the world of sports more single-mindedly committed to the protection of its brand than Augusta National Golf Club?

ANGC, if you’ll recall, filed a federal lawsuit in August to halt Green Jacket Auctions (you know that name rankles the club to no end) from auctioning a trio of green jackets. One of the famed garments purportedly belonged to Byron Nelson, one to a current member, and one to a former member of the iconic club.

Now, per a report from The Augusta Chronicle, the jackets are back in the club’s possession until the case is resolved

U.S. District Court Chief Judge J. Randal Hall signed an order Friday saying in part

“…The parties shall not construe the release and transfer of these items as anything other than an alteration of its previous preservation order. The court has not yet made any determinations regarding the disputed issues in this case.”

In August, Augusta maintained the items were either stolen or fakes. The club says it has never sold green jackets at any point in its history, and members are likewise prohibited from doing so.

Not surprisingly, Green Jacket Auctions doesn’t see things the same way, indicating it obtained the jackets legally through third parties who themselves rightfully owned the garments.

Ryan Carey, co-founder of Green Jacket Auctions, told Golf Digest.

“Augusta National likes to claim things are ‘stolen’ when what they really mean is they believe Augusta National owns every green jacket ever produced regardless of who currently owns or possesses the jackets.”

The famed green garments are only worn by members during the Masters, and only the reigning Masters champion is permitted to take his jacket from the premises.

Judge Hall granted a temporary injunction in August, which stopped the auction pending the determination of ownership.

Should members own their jackets? Or should ANGC effectively rent them out to the membership but retain ownership?

It’s difficult to make the case that the most famous garments in sports appearing on the auction block builds the Masters brand in a positive way. Indeed, for the club, and for many Masters fans, the green jackets are akin to holy relics housed in the sanctuary of the club. For many, this may seem extreme, but it’s all part of the dense web of Masters mythology.

From an ownership standpoint, based on this latest development, it’s also difficult to think the court ANGC won’t determine to be the rightful owner of genuine green jackets.

In other words, the days of green jacket auctions at Green Jacket Auctions may be over.

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6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Fitz

    Jan 13, 2018 at 1:01 am

    Augusta…. where the balls are white and the caddies aren’t …. 😮

  2. St. Donald

    Jan 12, 2018 at 7:50 pm

    …. but it’s TRUE!!

  3. x-out

    Jan 12, 2018 at 4:58 pm

    The ultimate golf nerd delusional fantasy….. owning and wearing a Green Jacket…. better than any WITB toy collection.

  4. Riley

    Jan 11, 2018 at 12:25 pm

    If you visit Oak Hill CC in Rochester, NY you may notice Claude Harmon’s jacket is hung on the wall in the clubhouse. It’s more that they don’t want it sold on the open market than anything else.

    • St. Donald

      Jan 13, 2018 at 12:34 pm

      Augusta is a sh••hole golf course compared to any of mine!

  5. Andrew West

    Jan 11, 2018 at 11:39 am

    Do the Members pay for the jackets ? If yes, then they can do whatever they want with them !

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19th Hole

WATCH: Phil Mickelson gets the Happy Gilmore meme treatment

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Maybe it’s too soon to find humor in the Phil Mickelson’s behavior on the 13th green during Saturday’s third round of the U.S. Open.

That said, the initial image of one of the game’s greats running after his golf ball and playing hockey in the manner of a child at mini golf was both shocking and humorous to most observers.

Perhaps not surprisingly, then, the meme producers at SPUN have put together this riff on Mickelson’s putting and post-round remarks, leveraging footage from the great golf masterpiece “Happy Gilmore.”

Check it out.

 

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19th Hole

Hot takes on Phil Mickelson’s Saturday antics continue to fly

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Yesterday, Phil Mickelson played a bit of field hockey on Shinnecock’s 13th green that continues to be the talk of the golf world… Mickelson didn’t do much to quiet the murmurs with his refusal to talk to the media following his final round and his celebratory antics after a made putt at that hole, Sunday.

Regarding the left-hander’s violation of Rule 14-5, we have a thread that’s 18 pages long and 516 replies deep at the time of this writing. It spans the full spectrum of opinions, from staunch support for Phil to outright condemnation.

A poll among golf WRXers saw 41 percent of responders say Mickelson should have been disqualified. 49 percent said he shouldn’t have. 9 percent said Mickelson should withdraw.

MtlJeff had this take

“Imagine if a young player did it. We’d be ready to euthanize all millennials for their horrible tantrums.”

Ssfranny said

“I have to kinda think Phil just gave a big middle finger to the USGA and pin placements.”

Teetogreen

“Frustrated as he may have been, he’s no better than the field. Everyone has to play the same course. I know Phil’s a fan-favorite, but that was wrong and disgraceful.”

Nessism said

“Pure frustration. I feel sorry for him. A momentary lapse of awareness will now cost him endless scritany for years to come.”

Golfgirlrobin quickly perceived what would be Mickelson’s eventual explanation

“Or maybe brilliant. Ball goes all the way down the green into the fairway and taking the penalty might actually have ended up being the better play.”

HolyMoses said

“Phil said he hit the moving ball intentionally so it wouldn’t get behind the bunker again. If he’s that defiant, he should be DQ’d. That’s cheating, plain and simple.”

Moving from WRXers’ takes to a few from other realms.

On Twitter, Lee Westwood played the devil’s advocate with this slippery slope (appropriately) argument.

“Here’s a scenario…Thoughts everyone??? here you go….. over the back on 15 at Augusta. Chip it too hard, run over before it gets to the water and knock it on the green so you don’t have to hit it again or go the drop zone!”

Writer Alan Bastable introduced the specter of Rule 1-2.

“Meanwhile, just two years after the DJ rules fiasco at Oakmont, the USGA blue coats were left to explain to the world why Mickelson hadn’t been disqualified for such an egregious breach of the rules. Indeed, under Rule 1-2, the Committee could have deemed that Mickelson’s actions gave him “a significant advantage,” and therefore warranted a DQ. “I would have lobbied for disqualification,” former USGA executive director David Fay said on the Fox telecast.”

The portion of Rule 1-2 Bastable referenced states.

“A player is deemed to have committed a serious breach of Rule 1-2 if the Committee considers that the action taken in breach of this Rule has allowed him or another player to gain a significant advantage or has placed another player, other than his partner, at a significant disadvantage.”

Golf Channel’s Randall Mell discussed Mickelson’s communication with Mike Davis late Saturday after some scribes floated the idea that the golfer ought to be disqualified.

“Phil really did want to understand how the rule operates,” Davis said. “Frankly, as he said to me, `Mike, I don’t want to play in this championship if I should have been disqualified.’” Davis said he assured Mickelson that Rule 14-5 was correctly applied, and that a two-stroke penalty is all that was required.”

With respect to the claims that Mickelson ought to withdraw, ESPN’s Ian O’Connor wrote this.

“There was a problem with Lefty’s story — a fairly big one. His playing partner, Andrew “Beef” Johnston, said he told Mickelson, “Sorry, but I can’t help but laugh at that. It’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.” Johnston also had this to say of his exchange with Mickelson: “He said, ‘I don’t know what that is. I don’t know what score that is or what happens now.’ And he started speaking to the rules official. It was one strange moment.”

“The standard-bearer with the group, Connor Buff, a 19-year-old from Smithtown and a student at the University at Albany, said he heard Mickelson tell the rules official, “Whatever I get, I get. Just let me know what it is.”

In other words, according to O’Connor Mickelson was both attempting to gain advantage and, for what it’s worth, lying about his thoughts during the field hockey moment.

And of course, Global Golf Post’s John Hopkins.

Amy Mickelson told Golfweek’s Beth Ann Nichols

“He has been pretty under fire,” she said. “A lot of people have been pretty rough. … . It’s not like we’re in his shoes and understand what he has gone through. You and me, we are looking at it from the outside, sitting in the press room or family dining. … They’re playing sports for a living, but still in the moment it’s a very heavy week, an intense week. A lot happens over the course of 24 hours every day.

Golf Digest’s Joel Beall wrote this about Mickelson’s mock celebration at the 13th, Sunday. He could just as well have written it Mickelson’s explanation and the whole ordeal

“His critics would call it the act of a charlatan. His fans would say he was being an entertainer. Part of the Phil Mickelson Experience is not knowing which is right.”

What do you think, GolfWRX members? Is there more to be said about the matter? Or, with the U.S. Open wrapped up, should be draw the curtain on all this as well? Do any other takes merit mention?

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19th Hole

See what today’s stars look like with Corey Pavin’s 1995 mustache. Hilarious!

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Surely, you’re familiar with Skratch TV’s efforts.

Launched in 2015, the PGA Tour/Bedrocket joint venture was billed as “golf’s first internet video network,” and it has grown into something pretty special in the golf mediaverse.

However, the producers of Adventures in Golf and a buffet of entertaining social media content have truly outdone themselves with the following.

Well played, Skratch. Well played.

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19th Hole

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