Gordon Brand Jnr passes away suddenly at 60
In my early days starting out reporting on the European Tour there was one golfer who stood out as one of the characters of the game – Gordon Brand Jnr.
It was only last fortnight ‘Brandy’, as he most-affectionately known, and myself were again taking the mickey out of each other at the Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
Gordan Brand Jr
It is why it has come as a huge shock to learn ‘Brandy’ has passed away just 19 days shy of his 61st birthday.
The Scottish-born golfer was due to tee-up at this week’s Staysure Tour Senior PGA Championship at the London Club in Kent.
In fact, it was the Staysure Tour that tweeted the very sad news:
“We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Gordon Brand Jnr. Our deepest sympathies are with his family at this time.”
‘Brandy’ was born in Kirkcaldy and won eight times on the European Tour before landing two success on the European Senior Tour after turning 50.
I was on hand to report of two of those eight main European Tour wins – the 1989 Benson & Hedges Open and the 1993 GA European Open.
He also contested The Open on 18 occasions between 1991 and 2001 with a best finish of T5th in 1992 at Muirfield.
Brandy also played in two Ryder Cup’s making his debut in 1987 at Muirfield Village, where he helped Europe record a first win on American soil and then in 1989 he was in Tony Jacklin side that retained the trophy in a 14-14 draw at The Belfry.
Naturally, tributes are now flowing following the sad news:-
“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,” wrote winning Ryder Cup captain Sam Torrance on Twitter.
European Tour player Richie Ramsay also paid tribute to Brand Jnr, writing: “Sorry to hear this. Followed him when I was a youngster around the @dunhilllinks. Always a name I would watch out for.”
Former US Open champion Justin Rose wrote on Twitter: “So sad…I remember watching him play as a kid for the first time at the @BMWPGA and getting his signed golf ball on the 18th hole. #RIPGBjnr”
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.”