Palmer Masters trophy goes for $444K at auction

A trophy awarded to Arnold Palmer for one of his four Masters victories was sold at auction Sunday to an anonymous bidder for $444,012.

The trophy was sold by Green Jacket Auctions. It is believed to be the second-highest price paid for a piece of golf memorabilia behind only the green jacket Horton Smith received for his 1936 Masters win, which sold in 2013 for $682,229.

Palmer, who won the Masters in 1958, 1960, 1962 and 1964, passed away in September at age 87.

Augusta National Golf Club presents a trophy in addition to the green jacket to each tournament winner, and the club began offering the hardware in 1993. At that point, past champions were allowed to purchase one for each of their wins. According to an ESPN report, Palmer purchased three trophies and authorized the fourth purchase to be made by Bay Creek Resort in Virginia, where Palmer opened a course in 2001.

The trophy cost about $17,000 in 2005, and the club reportedly planned to feature it in an on-property museum. Instead, the club sold it to a foreign collector in 2013 without notifying the Palmer family, a decision the family termed “disappointing.”

“It was always Arnold’s intention that this trophy would be placed in an appropriate museum or institution with which he was personally associated,” the family said in a statement. “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.”