Tom Kidd was the first Champion Golfer presented with the Claret Jug when he won the first Open at St Andrews in 1873. Although The Open had resumed a year earlier, there had not been time to provide a new trophy.
A silver pitcher from Mackay Cunningham & Co in Edinburgh, costing £30, was inscribed with the name of Tom Morris Jnr against 1872 but was first presented when Kidd stopped the Young Tommy’s run of four victories in a row.
With the course saturated with many puddles and pond after days of torrential rain, Kidd’s powerful hitting, propelled by a huge forward lunge in his downswing, helped no end.
The 25-year-old St Andrews caddie was out in 39 in the second round and despite stumbling coming home added an 88 to his earlier 91 for a total of 179, the highest recorded while The Open was played over 36 holes.
He won by one from future three-time Champion Golfer Jamie Anderson, with Young Tom tying for third place, four strokes behind. The victory, and the £11 first prize, enabled Kidd to propose to his beloved Eliza and he sold the Gold Medal he was also awarded to pay for the wedding.
He might have sold the new Golf Champion Trophy as well had he not been duty bound to return before the next Open. He was the first Champion Golfer to his on his debut in The Open since Willie Park Snr in the inaugural Open in 1860.
He was a popular winner despite topping the great favourite, Morris, became a fine teacher of the game but died of heart disease only 11 years later.