Pete Brown (golfer)

Pete Brown (February 2, 1935 – May 1, 2015) was an American professional golfer who is best known as the first African American to win a PGA Tour event with his win at the Waco Turner Open.

Pete Brown
Personal information
Born(1935-02-02)February 2, 1935
Port Gibson, Mississippi
DiedMay 1, 2015(2015-05-01) (aged 80)
Augusta, Georgia
Height6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Weight190 lb (86 kg; 14 st)
Nationality United States
Former tour(s)PGA Tour
Champions Tour
Professional wins14
Number of wins by tour
PGA Tour2
Best results in major championships
Masters TournamentDNP
PGA ChampionshipT33: 1964
U.S. OpenT58: 1969
The Open ChampionshipDNP

Early lifeEdit

Brown was born in Port Gibson, Mississippi and grew up in Jackson, Mississippi.[1] He started in golf as a caddy at the municipal course in his hometown.[2] He suffered from non-paralytic polio in the late 1950s but recovered and resumed playing competitive golf.[3]


He turned professional in 1954, winning the Negro National Open consecutively in 1961 and 1962. Brown received his PGA Tour card in 1963.[1] He was not the first African American to obtain his PGA players card; that honor belonged to Charlie Sifford. Brown's victory at the 1964 Waco Turner Open did, however, earn him a place in history as the first African American to win a PGA event. 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.[4][5]

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.

Personal lifeEdit

Brown and his wife, Margaret, are the parents of six daughters.[1] He was the head pro at Madden Golf Course in Dayton, Ohio for more than 20 years.[6] He lived in Evans, Georgia from 2012 to 2015.[3][7]

Brown died in Augusta, Georgia on May 1, 2015 at the age of 80.[8]

Professional wins (14)Edit

PGA Tour wins (2)Edit

No. Date Tournament Winning score Margin of
1 May 3, 1964 Waco Turner Open −8 (71-71-68-70=280) 1 stroke   Dan Sikes
2 Feb 1, 1970 Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational −13 (76-67-67-65=275) Playoff   Tony Jacklin

PGA Tour playoff record (1–1)

No. Year Tournament Opponent(s) Result
1 1964 Almaden Open Invitational   Billy Casper,   Jerry Steelsmith Casper won with birdie on third extra hole after 18 hole playoff;
Casper: −4 (68),
Brown: −4 (68),
Steelsmith: +1 (73)
2 1970 Andy Williams-San Diego Open Invitational   Tony Jacklin Won with par on first extra hole

Other wins (12)Edit

  • Four time USG (Negro) National Open Champion
  • Four time Long Star Open Champion
  • Three time North & South Champion
  • 1962 Michigan Open


  1. ^ a b c "The first African American to Win a PGA Event". Archived from the original on May 17, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  2. ^ "Remembering the old UGA tour". Black Enterprise. September 1997. Archived from the original on 2006-02-28. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  3. ^ a b McAllister, Mike (April 29, 2014). "Breakthrough at Burneyville". PGA Tour.
  4. ^ "Golf Tournament Honorees". Archived from the original on July 23, 2008. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  5. ^ "PGA Tour Buick Invitational". Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  6. ^ "Pete Brown, First African-American To Win A PGA Event, Believes In The Big Stik Driver" (Press release). Archived from the original on July 11, 2011. Retrieved September 27, 2007.
  7. ^ Bamberger, Michael (April 8, 2014). "After a hardscrabble life as a Tour journeyman, Augusta's own Jim Dent hit it big and paid it forward".
  8. ^ Livsey, Laury (May 1, 2015). "Brown passes away at age 80". PGA Tour.

External linksEdit