The Claret Jug, of British Open fame, is arguably the most sought after trophy in professional golf. But, how much do you really know about it?
Here are 10 fun facts to get you up to speed:
The winner of the first Claret Jug in 1872 went home without it. The Claret Jug was barely decided upon when Tom Morris won his fourth Open in a row. He received a medal instead. However, his was the first name engraved on the trophy.
The first time the Claret Jug was physically presented to an Open winner was in 1873. Tom Kidd received the newly minted trophy after his win.
The trophy now presented to the Open winner is a replica of the original. In 1928, the original Claret Jug was retired at the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews for display purposes. Beginning with that year, a replica was given to each Open winner.
The Claret Jug is officially named "The Golf Champion Trophy." This name dates back to its origin in 1872.
The trophy weighs 2.45 kg. Conversion: 5.4 pounds.
The original Claret Jug cost 30 pounds. The three clubs that hosted the 1872 Open -- Prestwick Golf Club, the Honourable Company of Edinburgh Golfers, and the Royal and Ancient Golf Club -- each contributed 10 pounds toward commission of the trophy.
The trophy is made of solid silver. That silver is worth in the vicinity of $2,000 today.
The Claret Jug was preceded by a belt. Winners of the Championship were awarded a leather belt during the first decade of the competition. The rules stated that when a player won three Opens in a row, he became the permanent owner of the belt. Tom Morris was the first to accomplish that feat in 1870. Hence, the need for a new award/trophy arose.
Padraig Harrington filled the Claret Jug with ale. The 2007 British Open winner celebrated his victory with a toast unlike any other. Based on a bet, he filled the trophy with John Smith's Smooth Bitter. He also packed the trophy with ladybugs for his son. Let's hope that both of those acts did not happen at the same time.
The 2011 Open winner, Darren Clarke, respected the Claret Jug enough to not put anything in it. That we know of. He, like the winners before him, celebrated to his heart's content after his success last year. But, one thing that he would not, could not do was fill the trophy with libations.
I've been watching the British Open since I was a child, thanks to having two grandfathers that were avid golfers.
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