The Mystery of Montague

While many of you may have no idea about this story or its subject, it is truly one of the most mysterious and strange sports stories in history. It is focused on a mysterious golfer in the 1930’s, who went by the name of John Montague, who was believed to be one of the best golfers in the world during that time. But who really was this mysterious man? Read on and find out more about this amazing story.

When he first surfaced, nobody knew about the past of the mysterious John Montague. In the early 1930,s Montague seemingly popped out of nowhere and began appearing at public golf courses around Hollywood, California. He was in his 20’s a fairly good looking and strong kid. He carried with him a set of over-sized clubs that helped him has fantastic power on his drives and hits.

(source: smithsonianmag.com)

(source: smithsonianmag.com)

When asked what he did, he didn’t answer. When asked where he was from, he didn’t answer. All this guy seemingly wanted to do was play golf. And he was damn good at it. He was breaking records at courses left and right and was getting attention from around the country. Some golfers and golf experts of the time claimed he was the best golfer they had ever seen, but the man known as John Montague didn’t want the fame or attention that came from being a championship golfer. He had many offers to go pro or play pro golfers, but he declined them all.

However, eventually sportswriters began to witness him play and began to write about him in their columns, which were read by millions. And eventually, stories were being posted with everything about this guys life in them such as what his personality was like and even what he drove. Montague was no longer getting the privacy he so desperately wanted early on, and soon we found out why he wanted the privacy.

(source: golfdigest.com)

(source: golfdigest.com)

It turned out that this mysterious man wasn’t named John Montauge, as found by New York State police. Instead, it was revealed that this “John Montague” was actually a man named LaVerne Moore of Syracuse, New York, who was wanted for armed robbery in New York state. After being arrested, he admitted who he was and was charged for his crimes.

This news obviously sent shockwaves through the sports and pop culture worlds. Despite his apparent criminal background, he still received the support from his new friends in California. His trial was held in 1937 and it was said to be the biggest trial in sports since the infamous Black Sox scandal in 1919.

However, the trial took an interesting turn as one of his supposed accomplices said Moore was with them at the robbery, while the other said he had not been. With conflicting testimony and reports coming up everywhere, Moore was eventually acquitted (many believe his celebrity had something to do with him getting off). After being a free man, he continued to golf, but never was able to make a name for himself in the sport. Whatever the reason for his acquittal and whatever really happened at the scene of the crime, this truly was one of the biggest sports mysteries (and stories) of its time.

 



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