Kirkcaldy-born Ryder Cup player Gordon Brand Jnr dies aged 60

Two-time Ryder Cup player Gordon Brand Jnr has died at the age of 60 - a fortnight after he was working at The Open at Royal Portrush in a broadcasting role.
Gordon Brand Jnr won eight times on the European Tour. Picture: Jon SavageGordon Brand Jnr won eight times on the European Tour. Picture: Jon Savage
Gordon Brand Jnr won eight times on the European Tour. Picture: Jon Savage

The Kirkcaldy-born player won eight times on the European Tour before landing two success on the European Senior Tour after turning 50.

Brand Jnr made his Ryder Cup debut in 1987 at Muirfield Village, where he helped Europe record a first win on American soil.

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Two years later, the Bristol-based player was also part of the side that retained the trophy in a 14-14 draw at The Belfry.

News of Brand Jnr’s sad passing was announced on social media by the Staysure Tour, where he was due to play in this week’s Staysure PGA Seniors Championship at The London Club.

“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.”

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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”

In another tribute, former European Open winner Andrew Murray said: “Oh my gosh, this is so so sad, a true gent and one of tours very good guys! We are all deeply shocked #RIPJnr”

Brand Jnr, the son of the club pro at Knowle in Bristol, enjoying a glittering amateur career that included wins in the British Youths, English Stroke Play and Scottish Strioke Play.

He played in the 1979 Walker Cup before turning professional two years later, winning the European Tour Qualifying School on his first visit.

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He won two European Tour events in his rookie season - the Coral Classic and Bob Hope British Classic - and went on to accumulate eight victories on the tour in total, including the Panasonic European Open in 1984 and the Benson & Hedges International Open in 1987

The last of his main tour triumphs came in the GA European Open in 1993 while he also won the 1988 West End South Australian Open.

He made the top ten on the European Tour Order of Merit six times, with a best placing of fourth in 1987. His best finish in The Open was a share of fifth spot in 1992

He won twice on the European Senior Tour - the Jersey Classic in 2010 and the WINSTONgolf Senior Open in 2013.