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CLEEKS' BLAND LEADS SENIOR PGA BY ONE STROKE AT HALFWAY POINT

News
Written by
Mike McAllister
May 24 2024
- 3 MIN
Bland Senior PGA Friday Rd 2 STORY image

Englishman Richard Bland is at the halfway point of what is turning into a splashy debut as a senior golfer.

The 51-year-old Cleeks GC veteran followed his opening-round 64 with a 5-under 66 in Friday’s second round of the Senior PGA Championship. At 12 under, he will take a one-shot lead heading into the weekend at Harbor Shores in Michigan, with American Scott Dunlap his closest pursuer.

"Probably wasn't as easy as it probably was yesterday," Bland said. "I struggled a little bit on the greens with my pace; my strike was a little off. ... Tee to green, there is no issues there. But I haven't really had any all year,

"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."

Bland birdied two of his first three holes on Friday and then suffered his first bogey of the week at the par-3 fourth. He bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 fifth and added three more birdies in his last 11 holes.

His birdie on the fifth came despite a bug catching his attention during the tee shot. "As I was starting my downswing, a fly came straight across the ball," said Bland. The distraction left him in the fairway bunker, but he ultimately got up-and-down from 130 yards.

"That was a good to get the momentum back straight after the bogey on 4," Bland said. "That was pretty important."

An original LIV Golf member, Bland is making his first start as a senior golfer. He received a special invite to play the Senior PGA Championship.

If he wins this week, he’ll receive an exemption into next year’s PGA Championship at Quail Hollow.

(Photo by Ryan Lochhead/PGA of America)

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