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Who Engraves the British Open’s Claret Jug on Sunday?

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ST. Andrews, Scotland-The good news for Gary Harvey is that at this year’s British Open field, Seve Ballesteros is the Spanish short game master, three-time open champion and golf’s most sacred trophy. A few minutes to chop one.

Harvey will face a sign stretch anyway on Sunday. Like his father Alex, who was tasked with marking Ballesteros in history on the deadline, he probably within 10 minutes of Rory McIlroy (11 letters) or Scottie Scheffler (16 letters) or someone else in Claret. Add it completely to the jug.

He will suffer from spelling. He makes a fuss about spacing. For a sculpture as efficient as the country’s pride, he wouldn’t care if Scottish Paul Lawrie won again. However, he began sculpting at the age of 14, has been in charge of the jug work for Claret since Tony Blair was Prime Minister, and has a ample reservoir of on-demand tranquility that he played in the 1979 Open. Add a Spanish name to the jug on behalf of his son.

“It reminded me of what my dad looked like when I was nervous,” said 67-year-old Gary Harvey, along the old course of St Andrews, the 150th opening. .. “When I’m under pressure, I think of the old man, and then I just do it.”

According to Harvey, the letter may take eight seconds to add to the band at the base of the jug.

The generation of open winners processed a jug sculpture, officially known as the Golf Champion Trophy. However, after the failure of Roberto Devisenzo, who won the Royal Liverpool in 1967, the organizer of the Open, R & A, took control and turned to Alex Harvey. Born a few months after Peter Thomson’s first victory in the five Openes, Gary Harvey began teaching sculpture around that time.

At the same time, he emerged as one of Britain’s best young golfers, running second in the Men’s Amateur Championship in 1971 and winning the following year. He also gave the trophy his name in the most literal sense.

After that, other golf achievements such as the victory at the Kenya Open in 1985 and the berth at the Open at Royal Rizam & St. Annes continued, finishing Thailand in 139th place. All the while, Alex Harvey’s hands have evolved into open television coverage equipment.

Gary Harvey often accompanied his father, scrutinizing his patience and customs. For example, when Alex Harvey arrived at Carnoustie No. 18 in 1999, he didn’t start adding Jean van de Velde’s name. He was always waiting for the R & A leader to say that the score was final.

Gary Harvey, who died in 2008, a few years after his father retired, has been around the open for so long that he can’t remember exactly the name of his first sculpture.

Ritual is considered an element of open appeal, even if current craftsmen usually prefer to work in the background. Tom Watson, who has won eight major victories, including five at the British Open, said the rapid sculpture has grown into “a part of the overall structure of the open championship.”

“Honestly, it doesn’t matter if your name is on the trophy. You can grab the trophy and see its beautiful claret jug, but that’s a perk,” said Watson, the first winner. On Friday, a newly updated trophy was announced. “It’s a great perk.”

Harvey then practices hard for the final round, pre-preparing certain parts of the sculpture, such as tournament location and year. But he also avoids stepping into the course on Sundays and is full of dangers (crowd, nerves, risk of falls) and can prevent him from being in his position when the minute comes. there is. He mutes the TV, isn’t interested in commentary on his hands, and doesn’t mind clicking on the still camera shutter. He wants the floorboards not to shake and interfere with his rhythm and concentration when working with tools that he believes are at least a century old.

“There’s everything that can go wrong, but spelling is important,” he said. “You don’t want to slip, and it can’t happen.” (“Padraig spelling, you have to be very careful about it,” he said, Ireland, where he named the jug twice. Said referring to Padraig Harrington, a golfer in Ireland.)

Of course, open gigs are part of his job, bringing other sports trophies and medals to work, whether in St Andrews or near his home in Crook of Devon, a village about an hour’s drive away. Is often. From the old course. He runs a jewelry store in nearby Dunfermline with his wife Janet. There seems to be very few customers who know he is working on a jug.

He hopes to work with R & A as much as possible, and he said it is unlikely that another family will take on the role.

He will eventually set out to watch a replay of the Sunday round. But he has plans for Monday: Senior Open Qualifying. But before that, he waits until the etching is complete and wonders exactly what he needs to do as soon as the last putt falls.

“If it’s a long name, a really long name, it would be difficult,” he said.

He reassured himself and his voice was cut off.

“If Seve Ballesteros could get into that gap.”

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