The Claret Jug is one of the most recognizable trophies in all of professional sports and it has been through its fair share of crazy post Open Championship celebrations.
Made out of 2.45 kg of solid sliver, the winner is allowed to take the Jug home, and do with it whatever they please. Of course, that frequently means an array of adult beverages, including ordinary celebratory drinks such as beer and champagne. It has also been filled by peculiar liquids such iced tea brewed by Justin Leonard’s mother and an apparent $40,000 bottle of wine courtesy of Phil Mickelson.
And then there’s Stewart Cink’s barbecue sauce, a story he conveyed via NBC’s broadcast of The Open Thursday morning.
“I don’t think we drank a whole lot of exciting stuff out of the jug, but we did pour barbecue sauce out of it,” the 44-year-old recalled. “I remember the last time we had the Jug we had a bunch of our friends gathered. My buddy, he and I were making the dinner that night and we poured what’s called a sop mop out of the jug over what we had done for everyone to sort of finalize it.”
Due to a miscommunication, the 88-year-old trophy was never cleaned after Cink’s BBQ soiree. The American only realized this gaff once airport security in Atlanta started inspecting the trophy on his way to the 2010 Open at St. Andrews.
“There is sauce dripping out of the backside of it,” Cink fondly recalled. “I took it through and had to go to the bathroom. I rinsed it out in the airport and clean up the Jug in the bathroom. An ironic way to end my tenure with The Jug, but made for a good story.”
As for that $40,000 bottle of wine Mickelson reportedly drank:
“I think the reason this brought out a little bit more emotion was everybody had a chance to share in it,” Mickelson said. “Everybody has a chance to drink out of the jug or hold it and take pictures with it.”
Others can’t seem to remember what they drank out trophy for obvious reasons.
“Honestly, because of the consumption, I really can’t remember,” three-time Open champion Tiger Woods said.
Whoever wins this year at Royal Birkdale will almost certainly have an interesting story to tell regarding how they celebrated with the Claret Jug.