Tributes have been paid to Gordon Brand Jnr, a Ryder Cup and European Tour winner who had a long association with the PGA South West region, following his untimely and sudden death at the age of 60.
The Bristol-based Scot, who was attached to The Players Club for 17 years and won the region’s Order of Merit in 2006, died on the eve of the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship at the London Golf Club.
A minute’s silence in his memory was held at the time he had been due to tee off and the head of the 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.”
Justin Rose, Sam Torrance, Thomas Bjorn, Sandy Lyle and Sir Nick Faldo were among the host of stars, past and present, who paid tribute.
Sir Nick was a rival on the European Tour and a team-mate when Gordon made his two appearances in the Ryder Cup – at Muirfield Village in 1987 when Europe won on American soil for the first time and two years later at The Belfry where the trophy was retained.
“I played lots of tournament golf all across Europe with Gordon back in the day and his record shows what a good player he was,” said Sir Nick.
“However, we unanimously all agree it was his character that was his 15th club.”
Gordon had been born in Kirkcaldy, Scotland, 29 years prior to that historic triumph at Muirfield Village and golf was clearly in the genes.
His father, Gordon Brand Snr, who passed away in December 2017, was the professional at Knowle Golf Club, Bristol, for many years.
Gordon was also attached to the club from 1981 to 1990 by which time his professional career was flourishing.
It followed a successful spell as an amateur which saw him represent Scotland in the Eisenhower Trophy and Great Britain and Ireland in the 1979 Walker Cup before turning professional two years later.
He won the European Tour Q School in the same year and two European Tour events in 1982, his maiden season. He went on to win six more European Tour tournaments, the last of them in 1993, and finished in the top 10 of the Tour’s Order of Merit on six occasions.
He joined the Senior Tour in 2010 and won two events – the Matrix Jersey Classic in the same year and the WINSTONgolf Senior Open in 2013.
His long association with the Players Club had begun 11 years previously when it opened in 2002.
“Gordon was with us from day one,” recalled Adrian Stiff, designer of the club’s Codrington Course, a director of the company that owns it and a close friend.
“The course is up to European Tour standard and so are the practice facilities. Gordon was one of several European Tour players who practised there and was with us ever since.
“But his association with us was not just about him and his game. He gave his time freely to members and was marvellous with the Gloucestershire juniors.
“He was also great company. He had a wonderful sense of humour, was quick-witted, very funny and doted on his dogs.
“We’re all devastated by what’s happened and still can’t believe it. He was here practising for the Staysure PGA Seniors Championship and seemed fighting fit. He will be missed terribly.”
Gordon’s quick wit, knowledge of the game and fund of stories resulted in him being a regular guest on the European Tour’s Race to Dubai podcast, commentator for The Open Radio, most recently at Royal Portrush last month, and in-demand as an accomplished after-dinner speaker.
Gordon is survived by his wife Sheena, mother ‘Nan’, brother Michael, nephew Alex and a legion of friends to whom The PGA extends sincere and heartfelt condolences.