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Richard Bland agrees with Phil Mickelson’s assertion that “not one” LIV golfer wants to rejoin their old circuit.

Speaking to bunkered.co.uk, Bland suggested the likes of Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson won’t be rushing back to the PGA Tour, regardless of the outcome of the framework agreement with the Saudi backers of the LIV series.

The so-called merger between the PGA Tour, DP World Tour and Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, which is still yet to be finalised, has opened the door for LIV players to return to their former domains.

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In uniting with the kingdom bankrolling LIV, the traditional tours have agreed to “establish a fair and objective process” for blacklisted players who are keen to reapply for membership.

But just last month, Mickelson shut down that prospect by claiming “not a single player on LIV wants to play PGA Tour.”

“A better topic is future sanctions for the many players who now come to LIV,” the six-time major champion said.

And Bland, who plays for LIV’s Cleeks GC team, has doubled down on Mickelson’s judgement.

“As far as I know there’s not one LIV guy that wants to go back and play the tour that they came from,” Bland said at the International Series England event at Close House. “I certainly don’t. 

“Speaking with DJ, Brooks and what have you, they seem very happy with where they’re at. Phil was spot on, I don’t know of one player that would want to go back.

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“Now there’s always going to be that bit of ‘well you went’ even if you are allowed back. You just want to go and play somewhere you’re welcome and I’m very happy with where I am.”

Bland was a journeyman of over 20 years on the DP World Tour until his maiden victory at the British Masters on his 478th start back in 2021.

But after joining LIV, he resigned his membership alongside the likes of Lee Westwood, Sergio Garcia, Ian Poulter and Henrik Stenson, whilst facing fines of up to $800,000 for playing in conflicting events.

Bland has no doubt that the LIV move is the best call he’s made, but was saddened by the manner of his DP World Tour exit and is concerned about the direction in which his old circuit is heading.

“When I got onto the tour 22 years ago, if someone said to me you’d resign I’d have said never in a million years,” the 50-year-old Englishman added.

“But when you’re being hit with fines and suspensions like we were for playing – it was a sad day. I hope the Tour goes from strength to strength, but right now its future is a little uncertain.

“I would much rather support the Asian Tour and play some International Series events, where you’re going to be made to feel welcome to play.”


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Ben Parsons joined bunkered as a Content Producer in 2023 and is the man to come to for all of the latest news, across both the professional and amateur games. Formerly of The Mirror and Press Association, he is a member at Halifax Golf Club and is a long-suffering fan of both Manchester United and the Wales rugby team.

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