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Stewart Cink "loses" the Claret Jug

Open champion Stewart Cink decided to thank East Lake for giving him an honorary membership 13 years ago when he was just starting out on the PGA Tour by bringing the claret jug to display in the clubhouse during the Tour Championship.

The former owner of the jug decided to play a prank.

Cink had the claret jug in its silver suitcase outside his locker Tuesday. To most people, the nondescript suitcase looks like it might hold audio equipment, perhaps even a musical instrument.

Padraig Harrington, who won the British Open the previous two years, knows better. He saw the familiar case and stashed it in his locker. Cink realized it was missing when he returned upstairs after registering, looked in his locker, then figured the PGA Tour Productions crew had taken it downstairs for their interview.

“I assumed they had gotten it and put it on their set,” Cink said. “I said, ‘So you guys already have the claret jug?’ And they said, ‘No.”’

Was he worried? Not for long.

The locker room attendant came over and told Cink, “I think Mr. Harrington played a joke on you.”

“I think Harrington walked in and saw the case—not the jug, but the case,” Cink said. “A lot of people don’t know what’s in there. He knew. … Before I could think that it was gone, they told me where it was. I wish it was more dramatic.”

Cink said the jug has been in his kitchen, but that he would keep it at East Lake for a few weeks. Bobby Jones grew up at East Lake and won the British Open three times.

“This clubhouse is like a Bobby Jones golf history museum,” Cink said. “With the claret jug in there, the actual one, I think it’s fitting.”

As for Harrington?

“He only had it for two years, so he wanted to have it just a little bit longer,” Cink said. “I’ve only had it for two months.”

 

September 23, 2009




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