November 23, 2015

Brown squeaked this one out over Mary Mills and Jim Gallagher Jr. Mills hailed from Laurel and won the Mississippi State Amateur eight straight years, from 1954 to ’61. She played the LPGA Tour from 1962-’81, winning nine times, including at the 1963 U.S. Women’s Open and the LPGA Championship in 1964 and ’73. Gallagher learned the game in Indiana, where his father was a golf professional. He didn’t move to Mississippi until the early 1990s, when he married his wife Cissye and relocated to her hometown of Greenwood. Cissye a former LPGA player, is a 12-time winner of the State Amateur and it was here, while residing in the Magnolia State, that Gallagher achieved his greatest success, winning the 1993 Tour Championship and making that year’s Ryder Cup team. Brown is a true Mississippi product. Born in Port Gibson and raised in Jackson, where he caddied at the municipal course, Brown became the first African-American to win an accredited PGA Tour event, the 1964 Waco Turner Open. He later captured the 1970 San Diego Open, beating the reigning British Open champ Tony Jacklin in a playoff, one shot ahead of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf.