Pete Brown; first African-American to win a PGA Tour event in 1964

Michael Eli Dokosi Mar 19, 2020 at 12:30pm

March 19, 2020 at 12:30 pm | History

Michael Eli Dokosi

Michael Eli Dokosi | Staff Writer

March 19, 2020 at 12:30 pm | History

Pete Brown via golfdigest.com

One of the golfing greats from the African-American stock is Pete Brown who despite not being the first to play the PGA Tour event was the first African-American to win it.

He won the 1964 Waco Turner Open to great fanfare from the black community who only a few years earlier had to resign themselves to being caddies without access to playing on golf courses.

Brown was born in Port Gibson, Mississippi and grew up in Jackson, Mississippi. He started in golf as a caddy at the municipal course in his hometown. He suffered from non-paralytic polio in the late 1950s but recovered and resumed playing competitive golf.

He turned professional in 1954, winning the Negro National Open consecutively in 1961 and 1962. Brown received his PGA Tour card in 1963. He played on the PGA Tour for 17 years and posted a second tour win at the 1970 Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational in a playoff over Tony Jacklin.

Pete Brown was the head pro at Madden Golf Course in Dayton, Ohio for more than 20 years.

Brown played on the Senior PGA Tour (now Champions Tour) beginning in 1985. His best finishes were a pair of T-6s in 1985 at the Senior PGA Tour Roundup and the MONY Syracuse Senior Classic.

After his professional career, Brown became the head professional at Madden Golf Club in Dayton, Ohio in 1981. He fathered six daughters with his wife Margaret Brown.

Brown passed away on May 1, 2015 aged 80 in Augusta, Ga.

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