John Daly's 1995 Open Championship Claret Jug to be auctioned off
How much would you pay for a piece of Long John's history?
John Daly's 1995 Open Championship victory was both important and historic. It was one of just three top-10 finishes at major championships for Long John, who also somehow walked away with two victories (1995 Open and 1991 PGA Championship). It also occurred at St. Andrews, and was bookended by Nick Faldo's 1990 win there and Tiger Woods' 2000 win. That's a wild trio.
Anyway, Daly's Claret Jug from that week is up for auction at Heritage Auctions. The current bit is $28,000, but Heritage expects to get $100,000 or more before the Feb. 24 deadline. There have only been two bids thus far on the trophy.
Two years ago, this same Claret Jug went up for auction but was quickly taken down, apparently because of a request from Daly's camp. The circumstances were odd, but it seems that there are actually two Daly Claret Jugs in existence. Here's Heritage Auctions.
This is one of two produced for Daly by The Royal and Ancient Golf Club's official silversmith Nicolas Winton. Daly personally tweeted about this example when it first sold in 2016, writing, "Just to let everyone know I still have my CLARET JUG xtra 1 thought was going to b donated to St Andrews museum."
We stress to interested parties that there is no ownership controversy today, and that this is indeed the one and only Daly Claret Jug available to the collecting public, as Daly hashtagged his tweet, "#nevergiveupmy2majortrophies."
It's astonishing to go back and read about that Daly victory, by the way. He beat Constantino Rocca in a playoff after Rocca made an impossible par putt on the 72nd hole. Here's Rick Reilly of Sports Illustrated on Daly's fight with the course, the field and his alcohol addiction.
Or maybe it was the fine selection of vendors St. Andrews offered from hole to hole. Daly tried them all. Battling sugar cravings that stem from his ongoing recovery from alcoholism, he was a consuming mass, a moveable feast, swallowing not only huge chunks of yardage but also every Otis Spunkmeyer chocolate chocolate-chip muffin the Old Course could sell him. "They're those good kind," he said. "The kind you can get at Shell stations back home."
It's not among the top trophies I would be clamoring for as a golf enthusiast, but it's definitely interesting. It definitely comes in above, say, Michael Campbell's U.S. Open trophy or Mike Weir's green jacket. It will be interesting over the next few weeks to see how high the bid gets, too, and whether Daly or his team intervenes again.
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