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
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV