Richard Bland claimed an emotional first European Tour victory in his 478th look after the 48-year-old from Southampton overcame Italy’s Guido Migliozzi in a play-off to win the Betfred British Masters at The Belfry.
In a dramatic ultimate day on the well-known Brabazon Course , Bland confirmed unimaginable bravery twice over to clinch the victory – first on the 72nd gap the place he holed a monster birdie putt to complete 13 underneath par courtesy of a closing 66.
Then, after Migliozzi had compelled a play-off due to a 68, Bland as soon as once more confirmed his mettle. Having discovered a difficult lie from his drive within the first play-off gap, the he pulled off a surprising 5-wood strategy to go away a makeable two-putt.
Migliozzi, 50 yards additional ahead on the green from his personal drive, proceeded to push his second shot to the proper of the inexperienced. Bland rolled his birdie deftly to inside three ft, whereas his Italian counterpart raced his personal birdie putt previous the opening on the center tier of the long-lasting inexperienced.
When Migliozzi missed his par putt, Bland knocked in for his 4 and for a career-defining triumph after quite a few near-misses down the years.
“It’s what I’ve labored for for 20 years,” stated Bland, who turned turned skilled in 1996, and whose solely earlier skilled win got here on the Problem Tour Grand Last in 2001. “I’ve had a number of shut calls, and I assume somebody up there was trying down on me fairly favourably at this time. It was simply my day.
“I saved telling myself on the final I assumed 13 underneath could be a actually good rating, particularly if the climate stayed how it was. To gap that putt on the final, I don’t assume I really noticed it go in, however I knew it was good with a couple of foot to go. I believe I turned to the left to have a good time earlier than it had even gone in. I’d have seemed foolish if it’d missed!”
He added: “Lastly I can get off that listing of the participant with the longest dropping run. One in every of my profession ambitions was to play 500 tour occasions, so this win will enable me to try this, which I’ll be massively pleased with. To play 500 occasions out here’s a fairly good profession.
“Shedding my card a few years in the past was one in all profession low factors. It took a number of guts to return to the Problem Tour at 46 years previous. You’re in all probability sufficiently old to be a lot of the guys’ father. I acquired my head down, I’m fairly good at that. After I put my thoughts to one thing I can simply go and do it, and that’s what I did.”
Match host Danny Willett capped off a massively profitable week with a 70 and a share of eleventh, having additionally raised £19,000 for Prostate Most cancers UK – after title sponsors Betfred pledged to donate £1,000 to the charity for each birdie the previous Masters Champion made through the week.
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