The 143rd British Open begins Thursday. The Claret Jug is 142 years old, making it the oldest trophy in major championship golf. The solid silver, 5½-pound jug is revered and, it must be said, modest in size and tastefully designed.
Today, the reigning champion Phil Mickelson returned the Claret Jug at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club, where the Open Championship begins Thursday. While it has not been a good year for the 44-year-old Mickelson on the course (zero top-10s on the PGA Tour since winning the Claret Jug at Muirfield in 2013), it has been a good year in terms of enjoying his trophy. He drank of the good life, including using the Jug to sip a 1990 bottle or two of Romanee-Conti, which goes for about $40,000 a bottle (see video).
"One of the things that I stressed is that we have to treat the Claret Jug with reverence and respect that it deserves and only put good stuff in it. There was no bad stuff allowed," a smiling Mickelson said. "And that was the best bottle that was ever put in there."