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Wednesday, 10 August 2011
Gordon Brand Jnr  (Getty Images)
Gordon Brand Jnr (Getty Images)

Gordon Brand Jnr will return to his native East coast of Scotland next week for the Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open at Fairmont St Andrews, in Fife, where there will be more than just a first European Senior Tour victory of the year at stake for the Kirkcaldy-born player.

The Bristol-based Scotsman’s long and successful career has yielded four European Tour victories in England (the Bob Hope British Classic in 1982, the Panasonic European Open in 1984, the Benson and Hedges International Open in 1989 and the GA European Open in 1993), one in Wales (the Coral Classic in 1982) and one in Ireland (the Celtic International in 1984).

And his love affair with England continued in June 2010 with his first Senior Tour win at the Matrix Jersey Classic.

But, alas, a Scottish tournament victory continues to elude the 52 year old.

"It’s strange actually," admits Brand Jnr, currently 13th on the Senior Tour Order of Merit, "you have to go back over 30 years to my days as a boy for my last win in Scotland.

"I won the Scottish Youths Amateur Open Stroke Play and Scottish Amateur Open Stroke Play Championships (both in 1980), but for some reason I haven’t won in Scotland since."

It’s something the two-time Ryder Cup winner, who was part of the first European Team to win on American soil at Muirfield Village in 1987 before retaining the trophy at The Belfry in 1989, would dearly love to put right as he attempts to dethrone the reigning Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open champion Barry Lane.

Certainly, his form this year suggests a victory is not far away after three successive top-four finishes in June before a commendable 12th place finish at The Senior Open Championship at Walton Heath Golf Club last month.

"I’ve represented my country on so many occasions throughout my career in so many World Cups and (representative) Alfred Dunhill Links tournaments, but I haven’t been able to claim a national title, so it’s something I would obviously love to do at Fairmont St Andrews,” he continued.

"There’s an extra buzz when you play in your national Open so it’s always nice to be in amongst it, being Scottish runs deep for me so it would be great to do it this year.”

And Brand Jnr has been doing everything in his power on the practice ground to make that happen on a course that he has struggled with in the past, including a link-up with Mark James’ former coach Gavin Christie.

"I haven’t really got hold of the golf course at Fairmont St Andrews, it was windy and miserable last year and I didn’t play well, but I’ve been working on my wind shots and my preparations have been good this year.

"I’ve been working with Gavin (Christie) for the past week and he knows the course very well, so hopefully that will help."

The Cleveland Golf/Srixon Scottish Senior Open takes place at Fairmont St Andrews, Fife, on August 19-21. Tickets are still available through www.tickets.europeantour.com.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LANE, BarryENG18-14
2KOCH, GaryUSA18-12
T3SMYTH, DesIRL18-10
T3FOWLER, PeterAUS18-10
5MASON, CarlENG18-8
6JAMES, MarkENG18-7
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