Mickelson sad to be giving back Jug

Phil Casey

PHIL MICKELSON admits he will be sad to return the Claret Jug ahead of his defence of the British Open Championship at Hoylake, although he might be considered lucky to still have it in his possession.

"It has been a fun year with the Claret Jug and it's been really interesting to see the emotional response of people that get to hold it or drink out of it and how much they appreciate what a great trophy it is," said Mickelson, who showed he has a very trusting nature when he added: "I've taken it to some of the courses that I'm a member of back in San Diego and left it there in the locker room while I go play and guys will take pictures of it and take sips out of it."


"I'm sad to give it back but I'm also hopeful that I'll have a chance to have a it for another year sometime soon, if not this one."

When he arrived in Scotland 12 months ago, Mickelson had never won a tournament on British soil and admitted the greatest challenge of his career was adapting to links-style golf.

Two weeks later he boarded a plane back to California carrying the Claret Jug and Scottish Open trophy and has made the trip to Royal Aberdeen for this week's Aberdeen Asset Management Open looking to do the same.

"I've been over in Europe now for two weeks already, I'm enjoying my time here and looking forward to playing some golf," added Mickelson, who has been in Greece with his wife Amy and their three children.

"I love these two events. They were two of the most memorable events of my career arguably last year. Having my family here, spending the two weeks here and winning both events was something I'll always cherish.

"Walking up the 18th hole at Muirfield knowing I had the tournament in the grasp was really the greatest feeling."