U.S. Open: Who is Richard Bland?

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 18: Richard Bland of England waits on the ninth tee during the second round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course (South Course) on June 18, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Richard Bland of England waits on the ninth tee throughout the 2nd round of the 2021 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines Golf Course on June 18, 2021 in San Diego, California. (Harry How/Getty Images)

TORREY PINES, Calif. — Let’s start with the hat — black, with a swan on it.

“This is just my golf club back home,” Richard Bland stated. “I don’t have a hat kind of deal at the minute. So if anyone is offering …”

The man leading the U.S. Open after 2 rounds doesn’t have a hat offer. Which’s simply the start of it.

If you’re questioning who the hell Richard Bland is, well, sign up with the club. He’s not some beginner. He’s a 48-year-old Englishman. He played his very first significant — The Open — in 1998. He missed out on the cut. He played his 2nd significant — the U.S. Open — in 2009. He missed out on the cut there, too. He played his 3rd significant in 2017 — The Open once again, where he quickly held the lead for a single hole and end up completing 22nd. And now this, the 2021 U.S. Open. That’s the totality of his significant profession, expanded over 3 years.

Along the method he played in 477 European Trip occasions … and never ever won as soon as. The 478th start showed to be the beauty, a win at the Betfred British Masters in May, which rose him 100 areas up the world rankings (to 134) and more notably certified him for the U.S. Open.

So, that’s the backstory.

And now you might be questioning, how the hell does a man stick through 477 losses over 20-plus years?

“Golf is all I know,” he stated. “When times got tough and I lost my [European Tour] card two or three times, I think, ‘What am I going to do, go and get an office job?’ I’m not that intelligent, I’m afraid.”

He’d publish a couple of top-10 surfaces every season, a 2nd or 3rd every blue moon and make a couple of hundred thousand Euros a year. Simply sufficient to hold on, however not rather sufficient to grow.

Does that make his profession a failure, or does spending time for twenty years, eking out a good living playing golf make it a success?

“I think any amateur golfer would probably give their right arm to play it as a living,” he stated. “I think they might think something different if they did play it for a living, but yeah, I’ve always … thought of it as I’m very fortunate that I can travel the world and play some of the best courses in the world and some of the biggest tournaments in the world.

“I’m certainly not looking at my career just now as sort of lack of success or anything like that. I just feel privileged that I can do what I can do.”

Having actually held on this long, Richard Bland, the man without a hat offer, is enjoying the benefit.

On his Twitter bio, Blandy, as he’s called, explains himself as a “European tour professional golfer during the week (few weekends off).”

Is that a little bit of a self giant?

“Yeah, well, we’re in a sport where you’re going to miss some cuts, so yeah,” he discussed. “I’ve had a few weeks off, weekends off in my career, so yeah.”

Not this weekend. Now, Richard Bland, the man without a hat offer, will tee off Saturday perhaps in the last pairing of the U.S. Open.

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Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.