Henrik Stenson: Jet-skiing jugs and other trophy tales

    Open champion Henrik Stenson jet skiing in Florida with golf's famous Claret Jug.

    Story highlights

    • Henrik Stenson takes Claret Jug jet skiing
    • Tales abound of drinking from the Jug
    • Calcutta Cup used as a rugby ball
    • Masters Green Jacket worn to buy doughnuts

    (CNN)Stories abound of golf's Claret Jug overflowing with assorted beverages, but British Open champion Henrik Stenson was more interested in thrills than spills when he took the famous trophy jet skiing.

    The Swede overcame Phil Mickelson in an epic final-day duel to win his first major title at Royal Troon in July, and recently invited CNN's Living Golf to hang out at his Florida home.
    Action-man Stenson took to Lake Nona on his jet ski -- and treated the much-traveled Jug, snug in a well-fitted life jacket, to a high-speed spin.
      Both golfer and Jug returned to shore unharmed, but not every holder has taken such good care ...
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      One day, while practicing a few swings indoors, 1982 champion Tom Watson knocked the Jug off a nearby table, causing a serious dent.
      Trouble was, Watson had accidentally been handed the original 1873 trophy, not the 1928 replica normally given to that year's champion. Watson attempted emergency surgery and maintains nobody noticed.


      The 2015 winner Zach Johnson damaged the Jug on a visit to Minneapolis and took it to a silversmith.
      Johnson stressed the importance and value of the trophy, but the silversmith said he was well aware what it was -- he'd worked on it before, when 2009 champion and Minnesota local Stewart Cink had taken it in to the same shop for repairs after his kids damaged it.
      Then there was 1996 champion Tom Lehman, who one night he received a phone call from police thinking the Jug had been stolen. They had apprehended a woman in possession in a bar.
      It turned out she was Alissa Herron, sister of Cink's friend and fellow PGA Tour player Tim Herron.
      Lehman had taken the trophy to a charity dinner and forgotten about it, whereupon Cink's wife Melissa had handed it to Alissa for safekeeping.


      Accidents are one thing. Badly damaging rugby's famous Calcutta Cup -- awarded to the winner of the annual fixture between England and Scotland -- while using it as a ball on Edinburgh's Princes Street is something else.
      Scotland's John Jeffrey and England's Dean Richards were the culprits on a boisterous post-match night out in 1988. Jeffrey was banned for five months, while Richards was suspended for one game.
      Chris Robshaw, James Haskell and Billy Vunipola of England pose with the Calcutta Cup in 2016.
      In more innocent endeavors, Padraig Harrington's son used the Claret Jug to house his ladybird collection after the first of his dad's two Open victories in 2007.
      But most tales concern the different beverages poured into it -- a rite of passage for Open champions.

      'Good stuff'

      From Coca Cola, to iced tea (Justin Leonard's mum), to various beers, Guinness, Jagermeister (Rory McIlroy in a Belfast nightclub), champagne and fine wine, virtually anything is fair game.
      Cink also used the Jug as a dish for barbecue dip, while Johnson ate corn on the cob out of it in a nod to his home state of Iowa.
      The 2013 winner Mickelson revealed he first poured in a bottle of 1990 Romanee-Conti -- a $40,000 red wine.
      "One of the things that I stressed is that we have to treat the claret jug with reverence and respect that it deserves and only put good stuff in it," he said in his Monday news conference in the week of the 2014 Open.
      At which point one oenophile among the assembled reporters pointed out that particular wine is a Burgundy, not a Claret.
      Darren Clarke, the 2011 champion at Royal St. George's, decided out of reverence he wouldn't drink anything from the Jug, despite his reputation as a bon viveur.
      But Clarke's story with the Jug concerns an incident when he was stopped by police for speeding on his way to a tournament in Ireland two weeks later. When the officers saw the trophy, they let Clarke off with a warning on the condition they could have their pictures taken with it.
      Phil Mickelson wore his Green Jacket to a drive-thru after winning the 2010 Masters.
      The Masters Green Jacket is another revered sporting prize and one with a long list of rules attached. Which is why Mickelson wearing his on a trip to Augusta's Krispy Kreme drive-thru after his victory in 2010 raised eyebrows.
      Not that Mickelson broke any rules -- the champion is able to take his jacket home for a year.
      South Africa's Gary Player went one step further, taking his jacket back home for a second time the year after his 1961 victory.
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      Player got a call from Augusta's chairman Clifford Roberts, saying he was not supposed to have taken his jacket off the premises.
      "I said, 'Mr. Roberts, if you want it, you better come and fetch it,' recalls Player. "He appreciated the humor and told me I must never wear it around. It's in a plastic bag in my closet."

      'Number two'

      Ice hockey's Stanley Cup has also been the centerpiece for various shenanigans. The New York Rangers burned off the mortgage on Madison Square Garden in the Cup after winning in 1940 and seemingly brought a curse upon themselves after having to wait another 54 years to win it again.
      Dustin Brown of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup in 2014.
      Colorado Avalanche's Sylvain Lefebvre had his first child Jade-Isis baptized in the trophy in 1996, while Doug Weight filled it with a giant ice cream sundae for his kids after the Caroline Hurricanes' 2006 victory.
      Fortunately for Weight, that came two years before Red Wings' Kris Draper used it as a seat for his newborn daughter, who did what babies do best. "I still drank out of it that night," Draper said later.

      Good dog

      Sailing's Auld Mug -- the America's Cup -- is known as the oldest trophy in international sport after being first awarded in 1851.
      It is now so valuable it travels everywhere first class with a permanent security guard.
      Pickles found the missing Jules Rimet World Cup Trophy in south London in March 1966.
      Which is what soccer's World Cup -- originally the Jules Rimet Trophy --- could have done with when it was stolen before the 1966 tournament in England.
      The trophy was on display at Westminster's Central Hall when thieves struck between security sweeps and removed the trophy from its cabinet.
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      A week later, a dog named Pickles sniffed at a parcel wrapped in newspaper under the hedge in his owner David Corbett's garden in southeast London. It was the World Cup, and Pickles became a national hero.
      The trophy was handed to Brazil in perpetuity in 1970 for winning three times and a new one made -- the FIFA World Cup Trophy. But the original was stolen again in Brazil in 1983 and never recovered.
      If they could talk, sport's famous old trophies could tell plenty more tales.