Last year, Richard Bland became one of the Cinderella golf stories. But now he is ready to join the anti-sports establishment.
The Englishman plans to play in the inaugural LIV Golf event from June 9-11 at London’s Centurion Club, even though the DP World Tour has threatened to ban anyone competing for the Saudi-backed circuit.
“I will play. If I am eliminated, I will be banned,” Bland told BBC Radio. “Most of my career is now behind me in terms of playing at the highest level. I’m 50 in six months.
“I’m realistic. Mother Nature tends to catch up with you. I have a chance to play these events and secure my future and I would be too stupid to turn it down.”
A little over a year ago, Bland won the British Petfried Masters for his first win on the DP World Tour, although he has played professionally since 1996. Soon after, he topped the 36-hole US Open and has risen since Now to 48th place in the championship. world, making him the highest rated player to officially commit to playing next month’s LIV Golf event.
“I didn’t get the release; I pretty much knew that two weeks ago,” he said. “Everyone has their own opinions and whether or not they will play; you can only do what is best for yourself.
“I understand that some people may not like it, but it is an opportunity for me to make the next phase of my life very comfortable and how can I refuse it?”
PGA Championship full field tee times
Bland is on the PGA Championship field this week and added that the elephant in the room is being discussed at Southern Hills.
“Talking about the city is a LIV event. It’s all the players talk about,” he said.
Many of the world’s top players that Bland are competing in Tulsa have committed to staying on either the PGA Tour or the DP World Tour. However, some, such as Bland, offered release to jump ship, such as Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia. While some, like Ricky Fowler, are enjoying the idea, they haven’t decided yet.
Bland notes that “some people will agree” with his decision, “and some will not.” LIV Golf CEO Greg Norman said he expects the DP World Tour to follow the previous PGA Tour and deny conflicting event versions. But with the consequences of playing in London next month yet to materialize, Bland is ready for whatever comes his way.
“(getting banned from the DP World Tour) is something I’m willing to put up with and bear his chin,” he said.
“We’ll see what they are and what the repercussions are. Nobody really knows. I’ve spoken to them [DP World Tour chief executive] Keith Bailey, but he keeps his cards close to his chest, so I don’t think anyone really knows.”