Tom Kidd becomes hometown champion
Torrential rain in the days leading up to the Open Championship on October 4, 1873, left the Old Course puddled with water and caused a rash of high scores. Under the rules in force at the time, there was a one-stroke penalty for removing the ball from casual water. The 26 competitors who completed 36 holes in one day suffered many such penalties and the winning score of 179 was the highest ever recorded until the event was expanded to 72 holes in 1892.
The long hitting of local caddie Tom Kidd helped him to scores of 91 and 88, which gave him victory by one stroke and the first prize of £11. In second place was fellow St Andrean Jamie Anderson, who was later to establish a record by winning the championship three times in a row from 1877. Kidd was a powerful but far from stylish player. Yet he understood the game well and, when giving instruction, emphasised the importance of grip and stance. He died of heart disease in 1884.