'If I Was In Your Position I’d Do Exactly The Same' - Bland On Pelley Meeting

Richard Bland has revealed DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley's honest response to his decision to join the LIV Golf Series

Richard Bland takes a shot at the third LIV Golf Invitational Series tournament
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Richard Bland has revealed that DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley had a surprising response to his decision to sign up for the LIV Golf Invitational Series.

It was originally revealed that Bland had requested a release from the DP World Tour to play in the Series in early May, and he was part of the first intake when the field was revealed for the opening tournament at the Centurion Club the following month. Bland has since played in all three events, and, speaking to former footballer Matt Le Tissier on his podcast, the 49-year-old has revealed that Pelley admitted he would do the same as him in his position.

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Bland said: “When we played at Centurion, we certainly didn’t know what was going on. I had two or three meetings with Keith Pelley, our CEO, and he said to me – we were at The Belfry, at the British Masters, and he said: ‘If I was in your position I’d do exactly the same as you’re going to do.'"

The revelation comes as a surprise considering that the DP World Tour imposed sanctions on its members teeing it up in the Saudi-backed Series in the aftermath of that opening tournament. Penalties included £100,000 fines and bans from the Genesis Scottish Open and the co-sanctioned Barbasol Championship and Barracuda Championship. 

At the time, Pelley said: "Every action anyone takes in life comes with a consequence and it is no different in professional sport, especially if a person chooses to break the rules. That is what has occurred here with several of our members. Many members I have spoken to in recent weeks expressed the viewpoint that those who have chosen this route have not only disrespected them and our Tour, but also the meritocratic ecosystem of professional golf that has been the bedrock of our game for the past half a century and which will also be the foundation upon which we build the next 50 years. 

"Their actions are not fair to the majority of our membership and undermine the Tour, which is why we are taking the action we have announced today." A few days later, the PGA Tour and DP World Tour announced they were strengthening their strategic alliance amid the LIV Golf threat.

As for Bland, he went on to admit that there is only one motivation for him joining the Series. He said: "I basically told him [Pelley] what I was going to do and I’ve been fairly upfront about the reasons I’ve done it and it purely is for the money. I’m not ashamed to say that. Who wouldn’t at my age?”

Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.