David Brown (golfer)

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David Brown
— Golfer —
1886 Open Champion David Brown.jpg
Personal information
Born (1861-05-09)9 May 1861
Musselburgh, Scotland
Died 8 July 1936(1936-07-08) (aged 75)
Inveresk, Scotland
Nationality  Scotland
Status Professional
Best results in major championships
(wins: 1)
Masters Tournament DNP
U.S. Open 2nd: 1903
The Open Championship Won: 1886
PGA Championship DNP

David "Deacon" Brown (9 May 1861 – 8 July 1936) was a Scottish professional golfer who played in the late 19th and early 20th century. He won the 1886 Open Championship and finished second in the 1903 U.S. Open. In total, he had twelve top-10 finishes in major championship tournaments.

Early life and career

Brown was born on 9 May 1861 in Musselburgh, Scotland.[1] He was a roofing slater by trade and a keen golfer. In 1886 he was working in Musselburgh when The Open Championship was about to be played. John Anderson, who was secretary of the Musselburgh Club at the time, invited him to play and provided him with a pair of striped trousers, a frock coat and a lum hat to wear. He shocked the professionals by winning the tournament by two shots from Willie Campbell, carding rounds of 38-41-37-41=157,[2] and then turned professional himself.

Later life

Brown was hired by Hayling Island Golfing Club (now Hayling Golf Club) in early 1885 as greenkeeper following the departure of Joseph Lloyd as Professional/Greenkeeper where The Field reported in an April report of the Spring Meeting of that year that 'great satisfaction was expressed at the improvement made in the state of the green since the charge of it was undertaken by David Brown of Musselburgh'. Brown moved permanently to England to become club professional at Newbiggin by the Sea Golf Club in about 1888, and later worked at Malvern Club. He played in the Open Championship regularly and featured prominently. At the turn of the century he moved to Boston in the United States. In 1903 he tied with Willie Anderson for first place in the U.S. Open after 72 holes, but he lost the playoff. Brown enjoyed playing the stock market but lost most of his wealth during the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and returned to Musselburgh, where he died in 1936.

Death and legacy

Brown died on 8 July 1936 in Inveresk, Scotland.[3][4][5] He is best remembered for winning the 1886 Open Championship and finishing second in the 1903 U.S. Open.

Major championships

Wins (1)

Year Championship 18 holes Winning score Margin Runner-up
1886 The Open Championship 1 shot deficit 38-41-37-41=157 2 strokes Scotland Willie Campbell

Results timeline

Tournament 1880 1881 1882 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889
The Open Championship T4 DNP DNP T24 DNP DNP 1 9 DNP T4
Tournament 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899
The Open Championship 10 7 24 DNP T13 T6 T7 T7 DNP CUT
Tournament 1900 1901 1902 1903 1904 1905 1906 1907 1908
U.S. Open DNP 7[6] T12 2 DNP 53 DNP T8 T12

Note: Brown played in only the two Opens.
DNP = Did not play
CUT = missed the half-way cut
"T" indicates a tie for a place
Green background for wins. Yellow background for top-10


  1. "Births in the District of Inveresk and Musselburgh in the County of Edinburgh". Statutory Births 689/00 0106. ScotlandsPeople. Retrieved 15 February 2015. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "Musselburgh – 1886". opengolf.com. Retrieved 17 July 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Deaths in the District of Inveresk in the County of Midlothian". Statutory Deaths 689/00 0124. ScotlandsPeople. Retrieved 15 February 2015. Unknown parameter |subscription= ignored (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Death of oldest Open champion". The Glasgow Herald. 9 July 1936. p. 3.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Golf - Death of David Brown - Champion of 1886". The Times. 9 July 1936. p. 7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Alexander Smith and Willie Anderson Tied for the Open Championship at 331" (p. 9). New York Tribune. Library of Congress. 16 June 1901. Retrieved 9 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>