Richard Bland Moves Inside World's Top-50 For Very First Time

As a result of the 49-year-old's impressive PGA Tour debut, he will now move into the World's Top-50 for the very first time

Bland waves to the crowd
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Over the last 18 months Richard Bland has arguably been playing the golf of his life, with victory in his 478th European Tour start (opens in new tab), causing a chain reaction of stunning results that have seen him climb into the World's Top-50 for the very first time.

Making his PGA Tour debut (opens in new tab) at the Valero Texas Open, Bland had produced a fantastic showing at last week's WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play, with the Englishman finishing top of his group before losing to Dustin Johnson, 3&2, in the last-16.

Moving to Texas, the 49-year-old gave yet another superb performance and, at one point during the final round, was only two shots back of the leaders. However, three late bogies on his front nine paved the way for a scrappy finish, as he finished in a six-way tie for 29th.

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With the top-30 finish though, Bland (opens in new tab) moves into the World's Top-50 for the very first time in his career, which is seriously impressive considering that, in 2019, he had to earn his European Tour card via qualifying school.

Upon achieving the feat, the Englishman tweeted: "A huge thank you to @valerotxopen & all the staff for this week’s event. To all you Texans for the unbelievable support over the past 2 weeks. Sadly a week to late for my top 50 quest. But feels great to finally get in the top 50 #muchlove." He then also added: "Big thank you to @PGATOUR hopefully you’ll allow me back to play again soon."

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Unfortunately for Bland, his move into the World's Top-50 comes just a tad late, with the 49-year-old missing out on a dream debut at the Masters (opens in new tab) by just a matter of weeks. 

At the Match Play, after advancing through his group, a number of factors didn't drop in the Englishman's favour, as Bland sat 53rd in the World Rankings at the time. Because he was just outside the Top-50, he would have to defeat Dustin Johnson to secure a spot at his first Masters (opens in new tab) tournament.

Following the 3&2 defeat though, it left the Englishman needing a victory at the Valero Texas Open to secure the final spot and, although he moved into the Top-50 of the Rankings, tied-29th wasn't good enough, as J.J. Spaun nabbed the final position in the field at Augusta National. (opens in new tab)

Matt Cradock
Matt Cradock

Matt studied Sports Journalism at Southampton Solent University, graduating in 2019. Now a freelance writer for Golf Monthly and the PGA, he covers all aspects of the game, from Tour news to equipment testing and buyers’ guides. Taking up the game at the age of six, Matt currently holds a handicap of 3 and despite not having a hole in one…yet, he has had two albatrosses. His favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.