Drinking from trophies: Original Idea? Hardly. Just this year we’ve had reports of Zach Johnson and family quaffing Coke, wine, champagne, beer and water out of his newly won claret jug, not to mention sticking an ear of corn from his native Iowa in the thing (which he swears he did not actually eat). Jordan Spieth flew home from Scotland with Johnson and also drank out of the jug. Rory McIlroy opted for Jagermeister after he won the Open Championship in 2014. The year before, one of Phil Mickelson’s friends reportedly poured a $40,000 bottle of wine into the jug.
“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,” Mickelson said during the week of his title defense in 2014.
Jason Day also believes in treating golf’s major trophies with respect. Which is why he says he won’t be treating his newly won Wanamaker Trophy as some sort of glorified Slurpee cup.
Last week, Day made the PGA Championship his first major victory, winning by three strokes at Whistling Straits. During a conference call on Wednesday, he said the trophy “is just going straight into the trophy cabinet. … [It] apparently has not had any sort of liquid in it and I don't plan to because I just respect the trophy too much to put anything in it.”
Some other highlights from Day’s interview:
Playing in the final PGA pairing with Jordan Spieth and hearing many fans openly rooting for Spieth motivated him.
“Jordan Spieth is a young 22‑year‑old American from Dallas, Texas, and he's the poster child for American golf right now. Like I said, if I was in the crowd, I'd be supporting him, as well, because he's just so easy to support. And I understand that. I understand that people wanted him to win. That was the hardest round of golf that I've ever had to play … having some negative comments out there, that's tough. But things like that you just grow from. You gain experience and you grow from and makes you mentally tougher in the long run.
“I'm glad it happened that way. I'm not saying that these people that were saying negative stuff out there, that they really wanted it to happen. But it was just a good way to kind of fuel the fire for me at least to know that these people - I felt like these people were against me; I'm not going to have that. I'm going to keep pushing forward. I'm going to keep grinding it out and I'm not going to stop until I win this tournament.”
Tiger Woods is a valuable sounding board.
“He's the reason I started playing golf. He's the reason I got into the game of golf, because of the way he played, how dominating he was, and then reading that book about him when I was a 14‑, 15‑year‑old kid, and him changing the way I looked at the work ethic that I had, how hard I had to work to get to where I am; has been a big influence on me.
“To be able to call him a friend and really to be able to pick his brain about certain things and what keeps - how do you stay so motivated and how do you - what do you do in certain situations and stuff like that, has been a huge help. We've talked a bunch of times on the telephone. We've texted a bunch of times just back and forth each week.
“And really, to be able to get the help from arguably the best player ever to walk or ever to live in our sport, I mean, there's no other way, because he's lived it, he's walked it, he's done it; and to be able to have that as someone to bounce things off when you don't quite have the answers, but he has the experience and the knowledge of finishing and playing and winning a lot of tournaments, is the best sort of advice that you can get out there.”
He won’t be able to return to Australia and show off his trophy this year.
“Unfortunately, I'm not going to return home to Australia, which is very sad for me, because I want to be able to share this moment that I have, the trophy, the Wanamaker Trophy, and the moment that I had, the experience that I had with the Australian crowd, the Australian fans, the Australian media.
“It's kind of sad because I really want to be able to get home and share this with them. But with [baby] No. 2 on the way and Ellie due around mid‑November, it's just - I think I wouldn't be living in the house if I just got up and left Ellie with a brand new baby and Dash to look after by herself.”
Now that he has his first major, he isn’t thinking about how many more he’d like to win.
“I have not picked myself a number. The only number that I will pick is what I get at the end of my career. I'm going to try and win as many as I can, and you know, it would be fantastic to win all four at one point in my career.”