MEMPHIS — The claret jug owns a hallowed place in the annals of golf. It just doesn’t belong on Kelly Harman’s kitchen counter. But it appears that she has had to make allowances for domestic tranquility.
“My wife has asked me to move it several times, and it’s like, ‘no, that’s a hard no, it’s going to stay right here,’” Harman said with a wide smile on Tuesday at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, which will mark his first start since his impressive six-stroke victory in the year’s final major.
“I’ve caught myself walking by it looking at it, and be like, ‘Damn, man, I still can’t believe it happened,’” he said. “I’m very grateful, very thankful. It was a very wild experience.”
Admitting that “life as a major champion is better than not,” Harman also has had to come to grips with the fact that wild experiences, at least for him, might be his new normal for a while.
He, of course, went home to St. Simons Island, Ga., and was greeted to a hero’s welcome at the airport. That was new. Sure, the wife and kids have been there in the past, but the dozens who were there when he returned from England was a surprise. Turns out he was a little bleary-eyed after staying up all night with his manager, Jeremy Elliott, sipping a few beers in celebration.
“Other than like my mom with some balloons [after] coming home from some junior tournament, no,” Harman said when asked if he’d ever gotten such a greeting before.
And speaking of airport greetings, Harman, 36, arrived Monday night here only to find autograph seekers waiting for him. “How do they know?” he wondered, puzzled that they knew when he was getting in. “It’s a new experience, people kind of recognizing me.
“I had a little chat with Scottie Scheffler yesterday,” Harman added. “He’s always so gracious. Just about how he’s dealt with … I’ve always enjoyed going out to dinner when I’m on the road by myself, just going to a hole-in-the-wall place and getting dinner, and it’s probably going to be a minute before I get to enjoy that again. There’s guys that have to deal with it to a much greater scale than I’ve had to. I’ve asked a few of them how they kind of handle it.”
Seems like he’s handling things just fine. To wit: the claret jug stays in the kitchen. Or wherever he wants it.