13th Open – St Andrews 1873
Tom Kidd becomes hometown Champion
Tom Kidd won the first Open played at St Andrews in 1873 and was the first Champion presented with the Claret Jug. When The Championship was re-instated the previous year there had not been time to get a new trophy ready so when Young Tom Morris won for the fourth time he only received the Gold Medal. However, the new Golf Champion Trophy, as it was originally known, a silver pitcher made by Mackay Cunningham & Co in Edinburgh, was first inscribed with Young Tom’s name against 1872 before being presented to Kidd.
Morris was the favourite, of course, but following days of torrential rain conditions were almost unplayable on the Old Course. Puddles and ponds of standing water were everywhere and for the first time there was a rule created that a submerged ball could be moved to a drier spot, no nearer the hole, but at a cost of a penalty stroke.
Young Tom’s putting was wretched in the morning round and his 94 left him three behind Kidd and Jamie Anderson. Kidd, a St Andrews caddie who was a powerful hitter, went out in 39 in the afternoon, an amazing spurt in the conditions but then struggled coming home. Morris holed a long putt on the last green for an 89 but was on 183. Anderson, despite a 9 at the 12th, beat him with a 5 at the last to post 180. Kidd had a putt on the last to win and holed it, an inward 69 giving him a closing 88 and a total of 179, the highest ever winning score prior while The Championship was played over 36 holes. Morris shared third place with Bob Kirk. Kidd, 25, was the first player to win on his debut, other than Willie Park Snr in the inaugural Open.
|3||Tom MORRIS JR||SCO||94||89||183|
|7||Tom MORRIS SR||SCO||93||96||189|
|8||Henry LAMB (A)||GBR||96||96||192|