The newspaper obituary described him as “Young Tom Kidd” and ‘coming from an ancestry associated with the game’ so, presumably, there was an “Old Tom Kidd” but I have not yet come across him.
He won the Open Championship of 1873. As a St Andrews caddie, it was perhaps surprising that he went to Musselburgh the following year to defend his title as his wages (of 1s 6d per round) meant that expenses generally confined his tournament play to Fife though he did compete in the grand tournament in Glasgow in 1878. Most of his playing income, though, would not be from tournaments but from high stakes matches on the Old Course. The Fife Herald doubted during his 54 holes in 1873 with Davie Strath against Young Tom Morris and Jamie Anderson ‘whether such an exhibition of foursome playing was ever witnessed’.
In January 1884 he died suddenly at home, laying down a piece of bread at the breakfast table he leaned back and died without a word, He had been complaining of chest pains for the previous ten days so his death was attributed to heart disease. He was only 36 and left a widow and two young children.
After his death, his cleek, iron and Open Championship gold medal ended up with Mr Leslie, keeper of the Golf Inn, with the suspicion, raised at the next hearing of the licensing board, that he had unlawfully given credit for drink to a caddy for them. They were sold to an unnamed gentleman who returned the medal to Tom Kidd’s widow.
Apparently ‘somewhat ungainly in his style of play but he was a powerful driver and understood the game well and how it should be played’.
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