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Richard Bland says that he is prepared to suffer the consequences of playing on the new LIV Golf Invitational Series without the permission of the DP World and PGA Tours. 

The 49-year-old, who created one of the most popular golf stories of 2021 when he finally won his long-awaited first DP World Tour title, told BBC Radio Solent that he is willing to risk a lifetime ban from the other circuits by participating on the new start-up tour.

The Saudi-funded LIV Golf Invitational Series, fronted by two-time Open champion Greg Norman, gets under way at the Centurion Club in England from June 9-11 and carries a £20m prize fund.

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However, the Wentworth-based DP World Tour – formerly the European Tour – has threatened to impose a lifetime ban on any member player who competes on its new cash-rich rival, with all release requests from member players to take part having been turned down.

That, though, is not deterring Bland.

“I am going to play,” said the world No.48. “If I get banned, I get banned.” 

“Most of my career is behind me now as regards playing at the very highest level. I’m 50 years old in six months.  

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“I’m 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.” 

Confirming that he hasn’t been granted a release to play on the LIV Series, he added: “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?”

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Asked if he was worried about the prospect of a ban from DP World Tour, Bland added: “That’s something I’m prepared to put up with and take on the chin.

“We’ll see what they are and what the repercussions are. No-one really knows. I’ve spoken to [DP World Tour chief executive] Keith Pelley but he’s keeping his cards close to his chest so I don’t think anyone really knows.”

author headshot

Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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