‘It’s like they’ve seen a ghost’, says Smith in showing fans the Claret Jug

Fatiha Betscher

Cam Smith admires the Claret Jug (Photo by Tom Shaw/ R&A via Getty Images)

By Fatiha Betscher Royal Greens GC, Saudi Arabia.

Open Champion Cam Smith says it’s like fans have just seen a ghost with the reaction he’s received any time he has the famed Claret Jug in his possession.

Smith celebrated the 150th staging of golf’ oldest major last July in also becoming the first Australian ‘Champion Golfer of the Year’ in some 30-years, and after Greg Norman in 1993, to be handed the Claret Jug following his one-stroke victory at the Old Course at the Home of Golf.


In referencing Norman, Smith was born a month after Norman won at Royal St. George’s with Smith also winning at St. Andrews after fellow Australian Kel Nagle won the 100th year anniversary Open in 1960 also at the Home of Golf.

Smith is returning to competition at this week’s fifth anniversary hosting of the Saudi International here in Saudi Arabia, having spent the Christmas/New Year period in Australia catching-up with family and friends, and also being home with a new addition to his family – the Claret Jug.

In fact, the champion Aussie now has two Claret Jugs in his possession  – the ‘real one’ and a 90% size replica that he purchased from the R&A.

“It’s a pretty cool trophy and I would say that the reaction from those who I’ve shown it to is a bit like seeing a ghost,” he said smiling.

“It’s just great seeing that look on their face and the feeling that it brings to them is special. It’s just been awesome as I’ve taken it everywhere with me. I think, like I said, just when people see it, it’s such a cool experience to see their face as they’re seeing it. It’s epic.

“I think we’ve had just about every liquid (smiling) you could think of in the trophy. It’s been fun. We had  itthere for Christmas dinner with the family drinking out of it, and it’s been something that I will never forget.

“I received a replica of the Claret Jug a couple of months ago and that’s sitting at home in my office in Florida while I have the original under lock-and-key. It’s just so nice that when I see the trophy sitting there to be reminded but then in talking about the original, you just don’t want to let it go. It’s just so cool and just added inspiration to be a better golfer.”

As for liquids being poured into the most family trophy in golf? Maybe a fine Australian red or a white wine?  Champagne?

“No, XXXX (FourX) Gold. I’m a big Brisbane guy, so it was XXXX Gold, so I can’t go past the local beer. Yeah, it’s been
awesome,” he said.

There’s a standard Australian joke told by those who don’t reside in the state of Queensland that goes like this…

Qn: Why do Queenslanders have four XXXXs on their beer? Ans: Because Queenslanders can’t spell the word BEER!

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