PRODIGY is a word often misused, but in the case of Royal Fremantle golfers Eddie and Tom Cassidy it’s justified.
The History of The Royal Fremantle Golf Club (Fuller 2005) says that Eddie was arguably the most talented golfer in WA in the 1920s, which is supported by numerous newspaper articles which are often the best available records of day-to-day life at the time.
Eddie was the older of the two brothers who lived on High Street close to the Fremantle course where they caddied on weekends.
They also tried to sneak in a round whenever they could; as they weren’t members, they had to be careful not to be seen.
FGC members Frank Gibson (a former mayor of Fremantle) and Albert Fordham saw young Eddie play and were so impressed by his potential they suggested he enter the State Open Championship even though he was only 16 years old and had never played in a club event or competition.
Eddie joined the field of 36 players, including professionals, to contest the Open over 36 holes.
With only a basic four club set (six was the standard at the time) he went on to win the Open by 5 strokes and his score of 156 was only one more than the course record set in 1913.
Along with winning the next four State Open Championships, Eddie also won four Fremantle Golf Club Championships and two State Amateur Championships.
As unbelievable as it sounds, Eddie then gave up golf to pursue a career as an accountant.
He resumed golf in 1934 at Sea View Golf Club where his younger brother Tom had become the club professional. Sadly, his return to golf was cut short when he was killed in a road accident.
Tom’s golf career was a little slower to develop, not winning the first of his four WA State Open Championships until he was 18 years old.
In 1928, Tom won the first of his four Open’s, defending his title in 1929 and after turning professional in 1932 and taking up the position at Sea View Golf Club he won again in 1933 and 1936.
A scorecard error in 1934 cost Tom a fifth Open.
Sporting prowess obviously runs in the Cassidy family and Tom’s grandson is AFL premiership player Simon Black, an All-Australian, Brownlow Medallist, Norm Smith Medallist and Hall of Fame inductee.
The Royal Fremantle Golf Club held a ceremony to celebrate the 100th anniversary since’s Eddie’s amazing Open Championship win when it opened its 117th season, with members of the Cassidy family invited along for the event.
by TRANG HUYNH