Richard Bland Leads Senior PGA Championship At Halfway Stage

In his senior Major debut, Bland fired a five-under 66 to lead after 36 holes at Harbor Shores Resort

Richard Bland strikes an iron shot and watches its flight
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Richard Bland's impressive form at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship continued on Friday, as the LIV Golfer carded a second round 66 to lead by one stroke going into the weekend.

Producing a seven-under 64 on his first day, the Englishman produced six birdies and a bogey for a five-under round and 12-under tournament total, with Bland playing well on his senior Major debut in Michigan.

With LIV Golf in the middle of a mid-season break, Bland is able to compete in the Senior PGA Championship thanks to a one-time exemption granted to players who have turned 50 and who have won a DP World Tour event in the last five years.

Famously winning the 2021 British Masters on his 478th DP World Tour start, Bland has been a member of the LIV Golf League since 2022 and, although he hasn't won yet, he has produced a number of excellent results.

Speaking after his second round at the Senior PGA Championship, the 51-year-old stated: "It probably wasn't as easy as it probably was yesterday. I struggled a little bit on the greens with my pace, my strike was a little off. I was kind of struggling to get it to the hole on a few putts. I'll work on that a little bit this afternoon, but yeah, tee to green there is no issues there... If I can just get the putter warmed up a little bit, then hopefully there is a couple good scores in me for the weekend."

Richard Bland holds his putter whilst on the green

Bland during the second round of the Senior PGA Championship

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Leading Scott Dunlap by a single stroke, as well as the likes of Chris DiMarco, Ernie Els, Mike Weir, Steve Stricker and Stewart Cink going into the weekend, Bland will be hoping to join Doug Barron in claiming a Senior Major scalp in 2024.

Despite this being his first appearance on the circuit, Bland still sees his future with LIV Golf, stating: "It's not something on my radar right now to be playing (on the PGA Tour Champions). I want to play LIV as long as I can, but I don't really know what I want to do when that ends, whether I do want to come and try and play out here.

"This is the hardest Tour in the world to try to get on to. I would have to go to the qualifying school as it stands right now, but I will see. I will cross that bridge when I come to it, whether I decide to hang them up or carry on playing. My wife seems to think I'll never retire, but, yeah, we'll see. Even if I did win here this week, and there is a lot of golf to be played before then, I don't know if the PGA Tour would allow me to play Champions. So, I'm just going to play the best I can over the weekend and see what happens."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x