Richard Bland Becomes Oldest First Time Winner On European Tour

Richard Bland Becomes Oldest First Time Winner On European Tour

Richard Bland British Masters
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After 478 starts on the European Tour, Richard Bland secured his first ever European Tour title at the British Masters.

Richard Bland Becomes Oldest First Time Winner On European Tour

Bland managed to par the first playoff hole against Guido Migliozzi to finally secure his first European Tour title at the age of 48 years and 101 days.

The Englishman started the day three shots back of overnight leader, Eddie Pepperell, but two birdies in his first three holes put him a single shot back.

Richard Bland British Masters

Bland shot a final round 66. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

A further birdie at the seventh followed, as the 48-year-old sat tied with the lead going into the back nine.

Bland, who has been part of the European Tour for over 15 years, carried on his great momentum, making birdies at the 10th and 12th to take the outright lead.

With his challengers pulling nearer, Bland would be tied going up the 18th hole, a hole that was ranked the most difficult for the week.

Finding the green with his approach shot, Bland went on to hole an outstanding birdie putt to set the clubhouse target at 13-under-par.

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Migliozzi, who was still out on the course, seemed to still have the upper hand, with birdies at the 15th and 16th putting him tied with Bland with two holes to play.

Finding the green in two at the par-5 17th, the Italian didn't seem to be showing any nerves. However, he would three putt for par.

Playing the last, Migliozzi would make a classy up-and-down from the green side bunker to force a playoff.

As the pair drove off, it was advantage to the Italian, who had put his drive dead centre of the fairway and only 150 yards from the hole.

Bland, on the other hand, had found the rough, with his ball nestling in an old divot. Despite this, the Englishman was able to crack his five-wood onto the back of the green.

Related: Should Golfers Get Free Relief From Fairway Divots?

With Migliozzi also finding the green, it would be a case of who could hold their nerve on the putting surface.

Richard Bland British Masters

Migliozzi was aiming to make it a hattrick of European Tour victories. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Playing first, Bland rolled his putt to a few feet of the cup. With the pressure on, Migliozzi struck his shot seven feet past the hole, subsequently missing the following putt for par.

Faced with a short putt, Bland would tap-in to much emotion, securing his first European Tour victory in 478 starts.

Speaking afterwards, the 48-year-old said: "I've done it! My game has been trending in the right way and I've been working so hard and I just drove the ball so well this week.

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"I'm not the longest player on Tour, so I've got to hit fairways and I probably missed single digit fairways all week. That one on the last I missed and it finished in probably the worst lie you can find.

"But to have the exemption now for one or two years is just great and I just can't believe it."

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.