January 7, 2010

Stewart Cink Has Never Had The Original Claret Jug

Rich Lerner of Golf Channel should know this, but today in the channel's coverage of the SBS Hawaiian Open, he asked Stewart Cink what it was like to drink from the original Claret Jug.  Cink didn't miss a beat and said he drank from it without even cleaning it out.  Lerner, the lead interviewer for Golf Channel, then added it must have been something special to drink from the same trophy as Old Tom Morris.

Cool story, but not exactly true.

That was an amazing display of ignorance on Lerner's part.

For one thing, Stewart Cink never had the original Claret Jug in his possession.  That's because the original trophy was retired from awards ceremonies in 1927 and ever since, a replica has been engraved with the winner's name and given to him for a year, after which a smaller replica is given as a permanent keepsake.  Walter Hagen was the first name engraved on the replica, as has the name of every subsequent winner in the last eight decades.  So where is the original Claret Jug?  Prominently on display in the R&A Clubhouse in St. Andrews. It's not left the premises in years.

Note, via Twitter, Stewart Cink comments that all of the names back to 1872 were retroactively engraved on the replica Jug.  He oughta know!

Lerner also should have known that Old Tom Morris would never have drunk from any Claret Jug as the winner.  That's because Old Tom never won the Claret Jug.

Old Tom's last win in the Open Championship was in 1867 at Prestwick, and the Claret Jug was not even created until 1872.  Until then a Champion's Belt was awarded, and by winning three Opens in a row, Young Tom gained permanent possession of the Champion's Belt, leading to the purchase and creation of the venerable old Jug.  In short, Old Tom never lifted nor drank from the trophy.

Honestly, one would think that a lead analyst and golf writer would have a better knowledge of golf history, especially when it is on display not only at the Home of Golf in St. Andrews, Scotland, but it also prominently mentioned in multiple places in the World Golf Hall of Fame here in America.  Maybe it was a slip of the tongue and we'll give Lerner - who generally does good work - a pass on this one.

pictured: Bobby Jones with the orignal Jug in 1927.

Read about the history of the Claret Jug from here at the R&A Website.


  1. That Lerner. What a jughead.

  2. I watched that last night and thought what a load of old tosh. Makes you wonder what other facts they get wrong...?
    On a serious note - it is his job - you'd thought he'd get some facts right.

  3. Ummm - WHO from xxx Golf Channel should have known this ? 'Nuff said.


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