Sunday, August 24, 2008

Gordon J wins battle of Brands
after six-hole play-off

Yorkshireman Gordon J Brand held his nerve to win the battle of the Brands in a titanic six-hole play-off for the De Vere Collection PGA Seniors Championship at Slaley Hall this evening.
The 53-year-old picked up the fourth Seniors title of his career - but only after he was forced into a lengthy shoot-out with his Scottish namesake, Gordon Brand Junior, after he bogeyed the last hole of normal play to finish tied on four over par on 292.
The pair then kept spectators on the edge of their seats for a further hour-and-a-half at the Northumbrian resort as they replayed the par-4 18th five times before heading to the par-3 17th where the contest was eventually settled by Brand junior flying the green with his tee shot into a virtually an unplayable lie.
The former Ryder Cup player, making his debut on the Seniors Tour, eventually hacked his way on to the green in four but Brand safely parred for victory to land the £50,000 first prize.
Brand, who after his third round 68 credited a putting tip from his wife with transforming his fortunes, was delighted with victory but admitted he never thought it was going to end.
“It was like groundhog day and it was in a way, once or twice we were hitting three-wood off the tee and three-wood second shots and I don’t think our balls finished a yard or two from where they were the previous time.
“It’s a shame it had to end that way for Gordon but he’s a great player and will be fantastic asset to the seniors' tour. From my point of view it’s a real confidence-booster and the taste of victory keeps the enthusiasm up.”
Yorkshireman Brand revealed regular visits to the gym had stood him in good stead during the play-off.
“I exercise in the gym every other day and I really think it made a difference out there,” he said. “Some guys were running out of batteries on their trolleys so it was a real slog and great to keep going.”
Anglo-Scot Brand junior, who hasn’t played any competitive golf for two years, set the four-round clubhouse target of four-over 292 with a closing round of two under par 70.
Afterwards, despite his disappointment at missing out in the play-off, he was happy with how his over-50s competitive debut had unfolded.
“I played OK this week, I just wanted to go and play well,” he said.“I hit some nice iron shots but when I got to three under I became a little bit nervous and hit a rubbishy putt on the last but if someone had said to me a week ago that I was going to finish the tournament and possibly win it that would be my dream start,” he said.
Sam Torrance celebrated his 55th birthday by carding a brilliant 67 – the lowest of the week across the testing Hunting Course.
The Scot, who began the day nine shots off the lead, finished in a share of third alongside Ireland’s Eamonn Darcy and Juan Quiros - just one shot off the leaders.
Quiros will be having nightmares about the 18th after double-bogeying the last to miss out on even making the play-off.
Defending champion Carl Mason was one of five players in sixth place with six over par totals of 294.
John Chillas, Tony Johnstone, Andrew Murray and Ross Drummond were the others.
Par 288 (4 x 72)
292 Gordon J Brand (Eng) 72 77 68, 75 Gordon Brand jun (Sco) 73 75 74 70 (Gordon J Brand won play-off at sixth extra hole).
293 Sam Torrance (Sco) 76 75 75 67, Eamonn Darcy (Ire) 74 74 74 71, Juan Quiros (Spa) 73 71 76 73.
294 Carl Mason (Eng) 77 73 72 72, John Chillas (Sco) 75 74 72 73, Tony Johnstone (Zim) 75 75 71 72, Ross Drummond (Sco) 71 73 76 74, Andrew Murray (Eng) 73 76 71 74.
296 Costantino Rocca (Ita) 75 73 73 75, Domingo Hospital (Spa) 74 75 70 77.
297 Giuseppe Cali (Ita) 71 76 74 76.
298 Nick Job (Eng) 76 71 81 70, Ian Palmer (SAf) 77 75 74 72, Ian Woosnam (Wal) 79 76 71 72.
299 Graham Banister (Aus) 77 74 79 69, David Merriman (Aus) 74 79 77 69, David Good (Aus)74 74 78 73, Katsuyoshi Tomori (Jap) 74 76 74 75, Seiji Ebihara (Jap) 74 77 72 76

**Full results from the Championship at Slaley Hall can be found under ‘Schedule Scores and Results’ at



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