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Richard Bland, like many, awaits first LIV field announcement and possible fallout

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Published in Golf
Friday, 27 May 2022 08:36

FORT WORTH, Texas – The field list for LIV Golf’s first event was not released Friday, as many had reported, but at least one player is anxiously awaiting the announcement and whatever fallout it creates.

Englishman Richard Bland said he plans to play the first LIV Golf event, which will be held at the Centurion Golf Club in London, June 9-11. He also acknowledged that he had requested and been denied a conflicting-event release from the DP World Tour.

The PGA Tour also denied all requests to play the first LIV event, which seems likely to have both DP World Tour and PGA Tour members in its field.

“I don’t know, is my honest opinion. I guess we’ll find out in a couple of weeks,” Bland told Golf Channel when asked how he thinks the DP World Tour might respond. “I’ve spoken to [DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley] about it and we’ve both kind of put our positions on the table and that’s fair. Your guess is as good as mine right now. I honestly don’t know. I don’t think anybody does right now.”

Bland was in the field for this week's Charles Schwab Challenge at Colonial and missed the cut. He has already qualified for the U.S. Open, which will be played a week after the first LIV event, and The Open Championship. He also hopes to play the Scottish Open, which is co-sanctioned by the PGA and DP World tours.

“Hopefully that will be the case. I hope,” he said, when asked about his upcoming schedule.

In a statement to Golf Channel, a USGA official said: "We pride ourselves in being the most open championship in the world, with roughly half our field securing their position via local/regional qualifiers, however we reserve the right, as we always have, to review any competitor’s situation on a case-by-case basis."

Bland recently met with Pelley to discuss the LIV Golf Invitational series, which is scheduled to include eight events with $25 million purses and 48-man fields. But there was no indication how the circuit might respond if he or any other player defied the conflicting-event denials.

“He basically said you have to do what’s best for you and your family and I have to do what’s best for the tour, and I understand his position,” Bland said. “I get the difficult position he’s in, but also I’ve got my position as well.”

Bland has been forthcoming in previous interviews about his motivations to play the LIV events, which by many accounts will include hefty appearance fees as well as rich purses.

“The opportunity is in front of me to make the next part of my life very, very comfortable. I understand people thinking that I could still do that playing the DP World [Tour], but I look at it I’m 50 years old in six months,” Bland said. “I’m a pretty realistic guy and I know it’s not going to last, so sometimes you just have to take the opportunities that are right there in front of you.”

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