‘Sad to Lose Another Friend’: Ernie Els Joins Bernhard Langer and Others in Mourning the Saddening Loss of a Legendary Pro

Yesterday was a day of sorrow for the golf world, as it lost one of its most beloved gems. John Bland, a South African golfer, lost his battle to cancer and passed away on Tuesday at the age of 77.

The Sunshine Tour golf circuit in South Africa reported the golfer’s passing. Bland is survived by his wife, Sonja, and three children, John-Mark, Bonney, and Candice, as well as three grandchildren.

In his more than 40-year professional career, Bland won 36 championships. He had competed against the best athletes in the world and given some illustrious performances.

Furthermore, he won twice on the DP World Tour. Along with that, he also won eight senior championships, including three on the European Senior Tour and five on the Senior PGA Tour. The golf veteran went on to achieve a career-high ranking of 48th on the Official World Golf Ranking as a result of his remarkable career.

Golf Pros remember and honor the legend
Many professionals responded to Bland’s tragic passing. PGA TOUR Champions uploaded a video featuring Ernie Els, David Frost, Darren Clarke, and Bernhard Langer remembering Bland, on its official Instagram account.

“Very sad about John. I saw him in November, December, when I went down for my dad. John at that time didn’t even know he had cancer,” said Ernie Els “Great guy all around. Greatest sense of humor and a really good player. so really sad loss for the game,” he reminisced.

PGA Tour Champions Pro Darren Clark also paid respects to the legend’s passing: “I was fortunate enough to play a lot of golf with Blandie. Whenever in my formative years starting on tour, went to Sunshine tour and got to know Blandie really well.”

Fellow South African professional golfer David Frost added, “Blandy, I want to go over to the states. what do you think? And he said, ‘Do it.’ And so in a way, I almost give him credit for me ending up on the US tour.”

Bernhard Langer on the other hand was hit by a wave of memories when talking about Bland, “I remember meeting him when I was very young on the European Tour and he was already an established player. Played many years over there with him and Dale Hayes. And then John came over here to play the PGA Tour Champions as well. Had some really good times with him and some great memories and We’re are sad to lose another friend.”

At the Benson & Hedges International in England in 1983, Bland defeated two-time Masters champion Bernhard Langer for his two victories on the European Tour.

Fans pay their respects to Bland


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