Bunker Mentality

Phil Mickelson used the Claret Jug to drink £25,000 bottle of wine

Bunker Mentality

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Phil Mickelson about to hit the booze

Part of Phil Mickelson's appeal is that he comes across as a thoroughly nice bloke.

That image has occasionally been tarnished by media reports that he can be a bit of a nightmare to be around, and sneering suggestions that he's less than popular on Tour.

Now, Bunker Mentality has a few acquaintances who've crossed Lefty's path and come away praising him as charm personified, and many people have leapt to his defence. And anyway, despite all the doubters, the fans still love him: despite not having been the best player in the world for some years, the Open Champion is still one of the top draws for fans - particularly in the US - and sponsors shovel tens of millions of dollars into his bank accounts each year.

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And that seems to be it: he has a sort of goofy, smiley, everyman demeanour which makes you think he's fairly normal. A nice guy. Decent family man. Would make a decent next-door-neighbour and so on.

But his pal-next-door image has surely been torpedoed for good by his revelation that, while you're drinking £4.99 Cabernet Sauvignon from the supermarket out of your six-for-£1.99 glasses, Lefty is quaffing a glass from a £25,000 bottle of vino poured from the Claret Jug.

What an image.

Phil himself explains: "I’ve loved having the jug with me for the last 12 months,” Mickelson told The Scotsman.

"The people who know and love the game get a big kick out of it. They really appreciate what it means to hold such a famous trophy. And drink out of it.

"I only let them drink the good stuff, of course," Mickelson added.

"There’s been nothing in there that is sub-par. But the best was a 1990 bottle of Romanee Conti wine. It wasn’t on my dime, thankfully. It costs about $40,000.”

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It might have been someone else paying for wine, but Phi could have afforded it if he wanted to of course.

That's £25,000 in English money, and for a man who makes £40 million a year, splashing out that much on a decent bottle of wine for a special occasion is like the rest of us spending £25 on a bottle of good stuff for Christmas Day.

But still, think yourself lucky: while Phil was carefully trying not to get bits of crumbling, quarter-of-a-century-old cork in his Romanee Conti, you have the benefit of simply being able to unscrew the top of your plonk, and enjoy.

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A bottle of Romanee Conti 1990. Not available at Sainsbury's.

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