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Gordon Brand Jnr

Brand Jnr dies aged 60

Gordon Brand Jnr, an eight-time European Tour winner and part of a history-making European Ryder Cup team, has died
 

Gordon Brand Jr has died at the age of 60.

The news was confirmed by the Staysure Tour, on which he played, on Thursday morning.

He played in 18 Open Championships, where his best finish was a tie for 5th in 1992, and one US Open, where he finished tied for 39th two years later.

Brand Jnr won eight European Tour titles between 1982 and 1993 and played on two Ryder Cup teams, including the 1987 victory at Muirfield Village where the US team lost on home soil for the first time.

His highlight was teaming up with Jose Rivero for a 3&2 victory over Ben Crenshaw and Scott Simpson in the afternoon fourballs on the first day.

It was part of one of the greatest sessions in European Ryder Cup history as Tony Jacklin’s men clean-sweeped the USA 4-0.

Two years later at The Belfry, again in the Friday afternoon fourballs, he played a key bunker shot on the 18th as, alongside Sam Torrance, the pair prevailed over then US Open champion Curtis Strange and Paul Azinger as Europe went on to retain the trophy.

He played seven matches in total for Europe, winning two, losing four and halving one.

Born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, in August 1958 and the son of the professional at Knowle Golf Club, in Bristol, Brand Jnr won the Brabazon Trophy at Woodhall Spa in 1978.

He played in the GB&I Walker Cup team the following year before turning professional two years later.

He won the European Tour’s qualifying school that year and tasted victory twice on his rookie season in 1982, claiming the Coral Classic – beating Greg Norman – and the Bob Hope British Classic.

Six more victories followed over the ensuing decade, including the European Open in 1984, the Dutch Open in 1987 and the Benson & Hedges International Open in 1989.

His final European Tour win came in September 1993, when he dominated the European Open field to beat Phillip Price and Ronan Rafferty by seven shots.

He made the top ten of the European Tour Order of Merit on six occasions.

Brand Jnr still holds the record for the most eagles made in a single round on the European Tour.

He managed four at La Moye Golf Club in the 1986 Jersey Open when setting a course record 62. His feat has subsequently been matched by Mikko Ilonen, in 2004, and Haotong Li at this year’s Saudi International.

La Moye proved to be a happy hunting ground. He won his first Senior Tour title there in 2010 at the Matrix Jersey Classic. His second came three years later at the WINSTONgolf Senior Open in Germany.

Brand Jnr also successfully turned his hand to commentary and, just a couple of weeks ago, was at Royal Portrush to see Shane Lowry lift the Claret Jug.

Gordon Brand Jnr: How his peers reacted

Steve Carroll

Steve Carroll

A journalist for 25 years, Steve has been immersed in club golf for almost as long. A former club captain, he has passed the Level 3 Rules of Golf exam with distinction having attended the R&A's prestigious Tournament Administrators and Referees Seminar.

Steve has officiated at a host of high-profile tournaments, including Open Regional Qualifying, PGA Fourball Championship, English Men's Senior Amateur, and the North of England Amateur Championship. In 2023, he made his international debut as part of the team that refereed England vs Switzerland U16 girls.

A part of NCG's Top 100s panel, Steve has a particular love of links golf and is frantically trying to restore his single-figure handicap. He currently floats at around 11.

Steve plays at Close House, in Newcastle, and York GC, where he is a member of the club's matches and competitions committee and referees the annual 36-hole scratch York Rose Bowl.

Having studied history at Newcastle University, he became a journalist having passed his NTCJ exams at Darlington College of Technology.

What's in Steve's bag: TaylorMade Stealth 2 driver, 3-wood, and hybrids; TaylorMade Stealth 2 irons; TaylorMade Hi-Toe, Ping ChipR, Sik Putter.

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