The Open Diary: Living it up with the Claret Jug, and is that Jim Furyk?


Monday hailed the start of a week in which the 145th Open Championship begins at Royal Troon.

It promises to be another thrilling major as the world's best golfers pit their wits against one another - and a notoriously tricky course - in Scotland.

With excitement building we have been at Troon to hear from reigning champion Zach Johnson and get a look at how Jordan Spieth is shaping up ahead of the tournament.

Read on for all that and more in our Open Diary.


No sophisticated household is complete without a wine decanter, but nobody can match the one used by the Johnson family after Zach's St Andrews success.

The American gave the lowdown on what he has been up to with the Claret Jug since he famously slept with it on the plane home.

"We had a glass of wine out of it - well, we didn't have a glass of wine; we had wine out of it," he said when asked what he last imbibed from the famous piece of silverware.

"It is a claret decanter, so it serves its purpose in that regard, too."



In fact, the antique trophy has been on quite a whirlwind tour since falling into Johnson's possession. It has spent more time out of his sight than in his arms, finding itself in some quite unfamiliar places.

"It's been on the football field of Kinnick Stadium in my home state," added the 40-year-old "That's on the 50-yard line. That's probably not normal. 

"I've got to be honest, I probably had the thing for three months."



One of the leading contenders to get his hands on the Claret Jug/decanter/football is Jordan Spieth.

But if his approach shot at 18 during his windswept practice round was anything to go by, the two-time major winner will have to wait a while longer.

Spieth's drive split the fairway, but his second shot skewed way left and rattled into the grandstand.

An excitable youngster picked it up and was later rewarded with a signed ball.


The more relaxed atmosphere of the practice rounds affords plenty of opportunities for some interaction between the players and fans.

At the close of their 18 holes, many of the players stopped to sign autographs, leaving the lucky recipients with a nice memento.

But one young fan appeared oblivious to whose autograph he had got after one seasoned pro signed something for him.

"Whose autograph did you get?" the boy's friend asked. 

"I don't know. That guy in the cap," he replied.

That would be 2003 U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk. I think the 'before my time' excuse is valid here.