We’ve all heard of Charlie Sifford and Lee Elder, but a family man from Los Angeles, Pete Brown, was the first African-American to win a PGA Tour event. The Waco Turner Open Invitational was an opposite-field event [the Tournament of Champions] that was the pipe dream of an eccentric oil man and golf fan in Burneyville, Oklahoma. The year was 1964.
Before it was done, the tournament would last four years and before Pete Brown was done, he would win the 1970 Andy Williams Open in San Diego, California, beating Jacklin, Nicklaus and Weiskopf.
Writing at pgatour.com, PGA Tour staff writer, Mike McAllister, tells the inspirational story, “Breakthrough at Burneyville,” of how Brown overcame a dire illness in his teens to become a husband, father of six and a PGA Tour winner. McAllister is a very talented writer who weaves a warm, enveloping tale of Brown’s life and golf accomplishments. Well worth the read.