Richard Bland eyeing maiden European Tour title at 478th attempt

England’s Richard Bland admits it would mean “everything” to finally win his first European Tour title at the 478th attempt.

Bland added a 69 to his opening 68 in the Betfred British Masters for a halfway total of seven under par, a shot ahead of 2018 champion Eddie Pepperell, South Africa’s Justin Harding and France’s Julien Guerrier.

“It would mean everything (to win), especially at my age,” said the 48-year-old, who has yet to record a single bogey on the Brabazon course at The Belfry.

“The chances are probably going to come fewer and farther between – that’s not being negative, that’s being pretty realistic.

“I’m going to try and go out there and not think about it too much. The old cliche, just one shot at a time as best I can.

“I can’t win the tournament tomorrow, just go out there and try to play as good as I have the last two days and putt a little better.

“To go 36 holes without a bogey is extra special. It doesn’t happen very often, especially round here where there are four or five holes that can really catch you out.

Richard Bland
England’s Richard Bland putts on the 18th during day two of the Betfred British Masters (Tim Goode/PA)

“You really have to stand up and hit a proper golf shot, even just to make par, so I’m really happy with the way I’ve played. I think I’ve only missed four fairways in two rounds and they were not by a lot, so my greens in regulation stats are pretty high as well.”

Tournament host Danny Willett was four shots off the pace after a disappointing 72, the former Masters champion dropping three shots in his last four holes.

“You can definitely shoot yourself in the foot the first two days because you have got other things on your mind,” Willett said. “You’re thinking, ‘I’ve got to get finished, then do this and do this’.

“But it’s been nice to get a couple of steady rounds under my belt and now this weekend, after today’s media and bits and bobs, I can get the head down and really focus on getting up the leaderboard to see if we can have a good performance.”