As Day 2 of the 2021 U.S. Open continues, there is a name atop the leaderboard that many will find unfamiliar.
England’s Richard Bland is leading the U.S. Open at 5 under par through his first 36 holes. He posted a 4-under 67 Friday afternoon at Torrey Pines and has maintained a one-stroke lead for most of the day.
Bland may not be a well-known name, but he has been around a while. Here’s a look at how the 48-year-old’s career to date has played out as he looks for his first win in a major.
Who is Richard Bland?
Bland has been a professional golfer since 1996. In 1998, he earned his card on the Challenge Tour. He qualified for the European Tour with a win at the 2001 Challenge Tour Grand Final. Since then, Bland has been a fixture on the European stage.
He has struggled at times to earn enough prize money to stay on the European Tour but has managed to remain in the competition. In 2004, 2008 and 2019, Bland was able to regain his European Tour card by finishing high enough in the Challenge Tour rankings. He did the same at qualifying school in 2007 and 2011.
Despite playing on the European Tour for nearly 20 years, Bland was unable to win an event until this year. He earned that first victory at the Betfred British Masters on May 15.
Bland became the oldest first-time winner in the history of the European Tour, in the 478th start of his career. Only Malcolm MacKenzie had more starts (509) before earning his first European Tour victory.
But even before winning, Bland had no complaints about his career.
“I think any amateur golfer would probably give their right arm to play it as a living,” Bland said, per Jay Hart of Yahoo Sports. “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.”
Has Richard Bland ever won a major tournament?
Richard Bland has never won a major tournament during his career. Though he has been a professional golfer since 1996 and has long been on the European Tour, the 2021 U.S. Open is just the fourth major tournament Bland has participated in during his career.
The best that Bland has done, to date, is a T-22 finish at The Open Championship in 2017. Here’s a brief history of his results in those tournaments.
What is Richard Bland’s net worth?
According to the European Tour website, Bland has taken home just under €6 million during his career. That translates to about $7 million U.S. in total winnings.
As such, it makes sense that Bland’s net worth is estimated between $3 million and $5 million.