Richard Bland Confirms LIV Golf Invitational Series Request

The Englishman confirmed that he has signed up for the opening Saudi Golf League tournament next month

Richard Bland pictured
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Richard Bland has requested a release to tee it up in the Saudi-backed LIV Golf Invitational Series opener next month at the Centurion Club.

The Englishman confirmed he had signed up for the $25m 48-man field but refused to say any more ahead of this week's British Masters, where he is the defending champion and one of the star names.

"I have and if it's ok, that's where I want to leave it," Bland said after being asked if he had requested a release for the event.

"For now, I want to concentrate on this tournament and I want to respect Betfred and the British Masters. So yes I have, but right now, the DP World Tour is my 100% focus this week. I want to make a good defence of my title and I'll leave it there."

Bland will be joined by Robert Garrigus and a number of big names from the PGA Tour with a total of 20 players said to have requested releases for the tournament according to reports. A total of 15 of the world's top 100 are said to be lined up for the field. There is also set to be some big DP World Tour names appearing albeit a Guardian report stated that there's a growing sense that permission will not be granted to players who want to tee it up at the Centurion Club.

Sergio Garcia, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell and Branden Grace are names to have been linked with the event. Phil Mickelson has also confirmed he has requested a release from the PGA Tour, with reports stating that he has received $30m up front and must either appear in each of the eight events or pay back a percentage of that fee (with a possible penalty). 

Richard Bland currently ranks 53rd in the world having won his maiden European Tour (now DP World Tour) title at last year's British Masters. The 49-year-old's best result of his career, in terms of world ranking points, came at this year's Dubai Desert Classic where he finished second after losing in a playoff to Viktor Hovland.

Bland picked up $889,000 for his runner-up finish in Dubai, and looks set to pocket at least $120,000 (the figure for finishing last) if he does tee it up at the Centurion Club next month.

Other names linked with the Series include the world's top six male amateurs, who have all been invited to the eight events this year according to a Telegraph report.

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as three Open Championships including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 4-6. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

2 iron: Mizuno MP-18 MMC Fli-Hi

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x