The Open Championship begins next week at St. Andrews, where Jordan Spieth will look to take the next step in his bid to become the first golfer to win all four majors in the same PGA season.
A week before it looks ahead to the future of golf, the tournament released a video honoring the British Open’s past and the storied Claret Jug the 21-year-old Spieth is hoping to hoist next Sunday.
The clip features more than a dozen former champions, including Jack Nicklaus, FOX golf analyst Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, Lee Trevino, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player reflecting on their own victories at the Open and what the trophy, one of the most recognizable in sports, means to them.
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And it’s clear from watching that there’s more to winning the Claret Jug — a tradition that dates back to 1872 — than meets the eye:
"Everywhere I went, I took the trophy, because to me, it was a trophy for everybody," said Norman, who won at Turnberry in 1986 and Royal St. George’s in 1993. "And it’s just incredible to see the emotion that comes out of people."
"To touch this Claret Jug is very special," added Trevino, who won back-to-back Open Championships in 1971 and ’72, at Royal Birkdale and Muirfield, respectively. "But it’s even more special when you touch it and you know it belongs to you."
Everywhere I went, I took the trophy, because to me, it was a trophy for everybody.
The current Claret Jug was first awarded in 1928, and while each winner ultimately gets a replica to keep for himself, seeing your name engraved on the original is surely a sight that never gets old. Only time will tell whether Spieth will experience that feeling, himself, next weekend, but with defending champ Rory McIlroy absent from the field, many think it’s Spieth’s tournament to lose.
"This is why we play," 2011 winner Darren Clarke said in the video, holding the trophy. "This is it. All the greatest that have ever played the game have come after this jug."