Richard Bland is set to rock the golfing establishment boat with news he will ignore any DP World Tour ban to tee-up in next month’s inaugural LIV Golf Invitational event outside of London.
It is reported by the BBC that ‘Blandy’, as he is more affectionately known, will defy talk of any DP World Tour restrictions backlash to compete in the Saudi supported LIV opener.
“I am going to play. If I get banned, I get banned,” he said in an interview on BBC Radio Solent.
“Most of my career is behind me now as regards playing at the very highest level. I’m 50 years old in six months.
“I also a realist. Mother nature does tend to catch up on you. I have an opportunity to play these events and secure my future and I’d be pretty foolish to turn that down.”
‘Blandy’ continues to endear himself to golf fans around the globe after the emotional scenes in capturing a maiden Tour title at last year’s British Masters, then in his 478th tour event. A few weeks later he walked the Torrey Pines course near San Diego leading in his first showing at a US Open
How he will received by golf fans should he go ahead and join the LIV Golf rebels is more than likely very positively given his popularity.
“That’s something I’m prepared to put up with and take on the chin,” he said when asked how he will cope with any ban.
“We’ll see what they are and what they mean. I haven’t been granted the release; I pretty much knew that a couple of weeks ago.
“Everybody has their own opinion and are they going to play or not going to play; you can only do what’s best for yourself.
“I understand some people might not like that but it’s an opportunity for me to make the next stage of my life very comfortable and how can I turn that down?”
The Saudi-funded event, being held at The Centurion Club at St. Albans from 9-11 June, will carry a prize fund of £20m with £3.2m for the winner.
That’s a first prize cheque of £2.9m more than ‘Blandy’ won at The Belfry.