The Claret Jug, awarded to the winner of the Open Championship, is the most famous trophy in golf. It does not have the size or flash of some other trophies, but it has the history and prestige.
Phil Mickelson is sad he's going to have to turn it in this week, giving it back to Peter Dawson (pictured above) and the R&A. But before he relinquished the trophy from what he calls the best win of his career, Mickelson shared one last anecdote about how he used the Jug over the past 12 months.
And that's by sipping a $40,000 bottle of wine, a 1990 Romanee-Conti, from it. The wine was not selected by Mickelson, but rather his roller friends who poured it into the famous trophy. Here's The Scotsman with the story:
"I've loved having the Jug with me for the last 12 months," he confirms. "The people who know and love the game get a big kick out of it. They really appreciate what it means to hold such a famous trophy. And drink out of it. I only let them drink the good stuff of course. There's been nothing in there that is sub-par. But the best was a 1990 bottle of Romanee Conti wine. It wasn't on my dime thankfully. It costs about $40,000."
The story was brought up several times again on Monday at his press conference at Royal Liverpool, and Mickelson simply stated "I stressed that we have to treat the claret jug with reverence and respect that it deserves and only put good stuff in it." A Bloomberg article notes that a case of this burgundy once sold for almost $300k, a record, at auction in 2011.
Mickelson hasn't played particularly well all year, but you can never predict how Phil will show at the majors. He's got as good a chance as anyone to retain the Jug and continue to drink exorbitantly expensive beverages out of it.