What Golf Champs Drink Out of The Claret Jug
The Claret Jug is one of the most recognizable trophies in sports, and its winners often drink their favorite beverages out of it during the year they are in possession of it. To each winner, it becomes more than just a trophy — it is treated like a member of the family, often brought along on vacations like a security blanket, and it is not unusual for this sacred award to be used as a drinking vessel!
Officially called the Champion Golf Trophy, the jug is given to the winner of the Open Championship, the oldest golf tournament in the world. While the original trophy from 1873 is on display in the R&A Clubhouse in St. Andrews, England, the replica has been passed on for over 85 years, traveling the world and serving the winner’s favorite beverages.
ESPN talked to several of the past winners of the trophy about their past drinking experiences with The Claret Jug. What they found:
Stewart Clink, who won the trophy in an impressive playoff at Turnberry in 2009, said really enjoyed his time with the jug. "I reserved the right to put in Guinness,'' said Cink "That's my beer of choice. The kids drank Coca-Cola out of it. We had some wine in it. We basted some barbeque with it.”
"I have many stories about the Claret Jug,'' said Padraig Harrington,, who won the 2007 and 2008 Opens and was able to keep the trophy for two years. "The first drink was John Smith's Smooth Bitter because it was a bet with my manager.
Even three-time champion Tiger Woods, who has preached his reverence for the trophy, enjoyed a drink or two from the jug. “I certainly enjoyed my libations of choice. But that's the extent of it,” said Woods.
Last year’s champion Darren Clarke, who returned the trophy this morning, claimed to have never consumed a beverage from it. "To be 100 percent honest, no, I have not put one drop of anything in it, not one drop — it is the Claret Jug,'' he said. "I just don't think that would be right. I have too much respect for it.”
Next Sunday, the Claret Jug will be waiting for the next winner and immediately engraved so it can be presented to the champion. Only time will tell how the future champion chooses to celebrate, and with what beverage.