The Claret Jug journeys back to Aus, and two Open champions hope Cam will stay the course


The Claret Jug travels back to Australia 

Meanwhile, two Open Champions express hope that Cameron will stay the course

If only the iconic Claret Jug could speak. Oh, the places it has been, the tales it could tell, the changes it has lived through...  "Journal of the Claret Jug" is surely a book waiting to be written, and read.

In its latest adventure it returns to Aus for the first time in the 21st century. This trip was not made under any form of 'special privilege', no 'first class' bells and whistles, nor was the legendary icon accorded its own seat on a plane.  Rather, in true Aussie style, the Jug was hoisted by Cameron to the overhead locker, in a vain attempt to squish it into a place where it could, presumably, snooze for the journey.  That wasn't to be, - the Jug, in its case, just wouldn't fit.  (Was it finally granted a seat on the plane for itself?  That secret is unknown at this time.)

Meanwhile, former Open Champions Ian Baker-Finch and Ernie Els have each expressed hope that Cameron will stay on course to create a true golf legacy. 

From Golf Monthly, by James Hibbitt:

Former Open champion and fellow Aussie Ian Baker-Finch has urged Cameron Smith to reject the advances of the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Series and create a "legacy" on the PGA Tour... 

"I know that they are talking to him and many others," Baker-Finch told SEN radio. "I hope he doesn’t [join LIV Golf] because I think he can leave a great legacy by winning Major championships and becoming the best player in the world. 

“I don’t think he needs the money. I don’t think it is going to be something that he should do. He will be a $100 million guy or more now. Does he want to win more Majors or does he want the money? I am hoping he stays and leaves a great legacy like a Tiger Woods or Rory McIlroy - which he could do. I think Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy and a lot of those guys that still compete and play well in Majors, and want to leave a legacy, they’re the guys I would be following."   Read more

From The Scotsman, by Martin Dempster:

Two-time Open winner Ernie Els reckons that new Champion Golfer of the Year Cameron Smith would be making a big mistake by joining LIV Golf in the wake of his St Andrews success.

Minutes after he’d got his hands on the Claret Jug for winning the 150th Open on Sunday, Australian Smith was being widely tipped to sign up for Greg Norman’s Saudi-backed breakaway circuit.

Els offered his response to that possible development at Gleneagles, where he is one of the star names teeing up in this week’s Senior Open presented by Rolex.

“Cam is in a great position right now,” said the South African. “He’s entering his prime. He’s 28 and he’s got time now to win majors and I wouldn’t want to put that under any danger of not happening.  “I would not at this stage go on any other tour where I might not play in a major again or be in a position where I have to be in a position to defend myself to play in a major."   Read more

From Fox Sports au, by Christy Doran:

Baker-Finch, whose voice is one of the most respected on the golf circuit, said he could understand why older players would consider joining LIV Golf but added only the PGA Tour would offer the true test on the golf course.

“I think the young guys are missing out,” Baker-Finch said.

“The guys who go join LIV are going to miss out on the grind, what it takes to be a champion, to play in the great tournaments against the great players.

“It is hard work. You’re not going to become a better player by going and playing 54 hole exhibition matches and getting paid $150,000 to finish last.  Read more

From The Irish Times, by Emma Kemp:

[Baker-Finch] "I just hate the way they are saying that the other tours haven’t done well by them or aren’t doing a good job.

“I just wish it wasn’t so combative, I wish it wasn’t ruining the ecosystem as we know it.

"Smithy has won $8m [this year] already. I think that is pretty good. The guy that leads the tour over there this year will win $30m. How can you complain about that? If you want to go play LIV, go play on that tour. Say goodbye.

"But don’t ruin the system or speak ill of the system that has made so many millionaires.”  Read more

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