TOLEDO, Ohio --- Back when he was just another kid with big dreams and not so much game, Olin Browne and his then-girlfriend used to go to a hardscrabble par-3 course nearby and imagine what it would be like to win a national championship.
Now Browne and his wife, Pam, know.
The 52-year-old journeyman captured the biggest victory of his life Sunday, holding off 1998 Masters Tournament winner Mark O'Meara down the stretch to win the U.S. Senior Open by three at Inverness Golf Club.
"This goes back a long way for us," Browne said of the aspirations he and Pam had first considered some 30 years ago.
Brown's longtime caddie is Augusta's Buck Moore, who first started caddying as a teenager at Augusta National Golf Club and has worked more than 30 Masters. Moore was one of Augusta National's regular caddies during the 1970s and '80s.
The father of former University of Connecticut and Westside High basketball standout Ricky Moore, he was also on the bag for Browne when the then 46-year-old golfer won the Deutsche Bank Championship on the PGA Tour in 2005.
Avoiding major mistakes, Browne had pars on the first seven holes. After a bogey dropped him into a tie with O'Meara, he played the last 10 holes in 1-under, while O'Meara made two costly bogeys.
"I guess from the middle of the back nine on it became a match-play situation, and I've got zero experience in match play," Browne said, chuckling about his 0-1 record in head-to-head competition. "But it's about putting your ball in play, keeping it out of the junk. The bottom line is minimize your mistakes, maximize your effort, and that's all you can do."
Browne had gone 141 consecutive tournaments since his last victory.
His even-par 71 followed rounds of 64, 69 and 65 and left him at 15-under 269.
Augusta native Larry Mize closed with 72 and finished 1-under, tied for 29th at 283.