Gordon Brand Jnr, former Ryder Cup winner and eight-time European Tour winner, has died at the age of 60.
Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, Brand Jnr made over 600 appearances across the European Tour and the Staysure Tour, winning ten times in six different countries.
He also represented Europe in The Ryder Cup in 1987 and 1989, as Europe triumphed on American soil for the first time in his rookie outing in 1987 and retained the trophy via a 14-14 draw at The Belfry in his second appearance in 1989.
Brand Jnr played on the European Tour from 1982 to 2006 before he joined the senior ranks in 2008. The Scotsman won twice during his rookie season on the European Tour with his first victory coming at the 1982 Coral Classic in Wales as he held off the challenge of Australia’s Greg Norman to win by three strokes.
Three months later he was a champion once again, lifting the Bob Hope British Classic at the end of September to make a fantastic start to life on tour.
Further success came in 1984 with wins in Ireland and England, before he claimed two further victories in 1987 en route to a fourth-place result – his highest finish – on the European Tour Order of Merit.
The victories at the KLM Open and Scandinavian Open in 1987, plus impressive form throughout the year, saw him awarded a place on The Ryder Cup team bound for Muirfield Village, where he paired up with José Rivero in Friday’s afternoon fourball to beat Ben Crenshaw and Scott Simpson 3 and 2, before claiming a vital half point in the singles against Hal Sutton as Europe won 15-13.
He added two more European Tour titles to his name in 1989 and 1993, before he joined the over-50s circuit in 2008, where he won twice.
His debut triumph in the senior ranks came at the 2010 Jersey Classic as he sealed an emotional wire-to-wire victory on the same course he set a European Tour record in 1986, when he recorded four eagles in a round at La Moye Golf Club.
His second victory came at the 2013 WINSTONgolf Senior Open, holding off fellow Scot Andrew Oldcorn on the way to lifting the trophy.
Away from competition, Brand Jnr was a regular guest on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai podcast and a commentator for The Open Radio.
Head of Staysure Tour, Mark Aspland, said: “It is with great sadness that we have awoken to the news of the passing of Gordon Brand Jnr.
“Gordon was a huge advocate of the game and one of the stars of Scottish golf during his time on the European Tour. His 12 years on the Staysure Tour will be remembered fondly, especially his debut win in Jersey.
“He will be sorely missed by everyone at the Staysure Tour and our thoughts are with his wife Sheena and his close friends at this time.”
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer of the European Tour, said: “Everyone at the European Tour is deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the passing of Gordon Brand Jnr.
“Gordon was a tremendous supporter of both the European Tour and the Staysure Tour over four decades and had a very successful career. We send our sincere condolences to his wife Sheena and his many close friends who will greatly miss his humour and friendship.”
David Garland, the European Tour’s Director of Tour Operations, said: “Gordon’s sense of humour was legendary. On more than one occasion you’d be trying to give a ruling and while you’d be concentrating on the information coming through your earpiece, he’d be telling you a joke or a funny story in your other ear. There is no question he’ll be sadly missed.”
The funeral will take place at 13:00 on Monday September 9 at St John's Church, 1 The Park, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 2BL.
Heart broken to hear of the passing of Gordon Brand Jnr one of my dearest friends for over 40 years, I will miss you RIP— Sam Torrance (@torrancesam) August 1, 2019
When i came on Tour in 1996 this was one of the men that helped me understand what it was all about. A great man, a great friend,that has left us way too early.— Thomas Bjorn (@thomasbjorngolf) August 1, 2019
Thank you Junior for everything!
RIP 😢 https://t.co/jSboqJIL48
Barbara & I send heartfelt thoughts & prayers to the family and countless friends of Gordon Brand Jnr.— Jack Nicklaus (@jacknicklaus) August 2, 2019
Golf family lost a man with a keen sense of humor & competition, evidenced by his passion for @rydercup. He was on ‘87 @RyderCupEurope team that was 1st to win on American soil. https://t.co/WlJjCI6hLP
I am so sad to hear of the passing of Gordon. I was only working with him @TheOpen and he was on great form. My deepest sympathies go to his family at this time. #RIP #character https://t.co/XdYpT7CUtq— Graeme Storm (@stormygraeme) August 1, 2019