The Open – Magical moments at St Andrews

St Andrews is not called the home of golf for nothing. The iconic venue has stood the test of time for hundreds of years and has become synonymous with The Open Championship.

From Tom Kidd’s success in 1873 to Zach Johnson’s triumph in 2015, the famed Old Course has hosted a catalog of memorable moments in the history of golf’s original major.

Many of the game’s greatest players have been crowned Champion Golfers on the links of Fife, including Jack Nicklaus, Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson and Sir Nick Faldo.

In fact, no course has held the battle for the Claret Jug more often than the hallowed ground of St Andrews – a place cherished by players and fans alike.

And as the Old Course hosts the 150th Open, we dug deep into the championship archives to watch some of the most magical moments.

1873 – Kidd uses insider knowledge

What better place to start than the Open that started it all?

The 13th Open was the first to be played at St Andrews, the first championship to be held on an 18-hole course and the first time the winner was awarded the Claret Jug.

It also ended young Tom Morris’ dominance of golf’s original major after winning four successive titles as Tom Kidd carved his name into Open history.

Kidd was a caddy at St Andrews and his craftsmanship proved the difference in what were, to say the least, difficult conditions after days of relentless torrential rain.

His rounds of 91 and 88 saw him win by a single stroke from Jamie Anderson, becoming the first player to win the Open on his debut as Morris Jnr shared third place with Bob Kirk.

1900 – The Grand Triumvirate dominates

The legendary trio of Harry Vardon, James Braid and JH Taylor – otherwise known as the Great Triumvirate – were virtually untouchable at the Open from 1894 to 1914.

In the 21 Open Championships held in the two decades leading up to the outbreak of World War I, the three men combined to win the championship golf title 16 times.

And their hold on the Claret Jug was clear to all in 1900 as they finished 1-2-3 at St Andrews, with Taylor the man to claim his third Open title success.

It was a sensational display from Taylor, who beat Vardon by eight strokes – with Braid another five behind – as he recorded four rounds in the 70s for a total of 309 wins.

Taylor and Vardon held the lead after the first round with scores of 79, but Taylor pulled away from it, shooting a final round of 75 to set the best score yet at the Old Course in The Open.

1927 – Bobby Jones puts the demons to rest

Bobby Jones’ first time at St Andrews was not a happy one. Playing the hall for the first time in 1921, the American amateur had a nightmare in the third round and tore up his card.

But six years later, Jones put his Old Course demons to rest in spectacular fashion, becoming the first amateur to win the title back to back after winning at Royal Lytham & St Annes in 1926.

Jones was only the second player to lead from start to finish since the Open was extended to 72 holes, opening with a record 68 after going out in 32.

He staged a putting masterclass, which included a 40-yard effort on the 5th of the first round, followed by rounds of 72 and 73 to extend his lead to four strokes.

A final round of 73 saw him finish on a total of 285, a new championship record by an incredible six strokes, before being lifted onto the shoulders of the crowd in celebration of his triumph.

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