June 20, 2024

The PGA Tour has confirmed English LIV Golf pro Richard Bland will not receive a customary one-year PGA Tour Champions exemption for winning the Senior PGA Championship on Sunday.

The update was provided by Sports Illustrated’s Bob Harig on Twitter.

Bland, 51, closed with a stunning 63 on his senior debut to see out a three-stroke victory on 17-under par at the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Michigan.

Richard Bland
Richard Bland

Typically, winners of the Senior PGA would receive a one-year PGA Tour Champions exemption as a reward for their efforts.

There had been some hope from golf fans on social media that the PGA Tour Champions would go ahead and still honour that to Bland.

But the PGA Tour has confirmed Bland will not receive a one-year exemption a result of him being a LIV Golf player.

All PGA Tour members who have joined LIV Golf since its inauguration in the summer of 2022 remain suspended on the North American circuit.

Bland plays for Martin Kaymer’s Cleeks GC on the breakaway Saudi-bankrolled league but he received an invite into the Senior PGA by the PGA of America.

He was able to participate in the tournament as LIV Golf had a week off in the schedule.

The Englishman picked up a cool $630,000 for his victory at the 2024 Senior PGA Championship.

Bland likely won’t be too disappointed he’s not eligible for a season on the PGA Tour Champions, especially given he has amassed $9.8m on LIV Golf since he joined in 2022.

 

Sports Illustrated’s Harig confirmed the news that Bland will not be eligible for a one-year PGA Tour Champions exemption.

Despite not earning an exemption onto the over 50s circuit off the back of his impressive Senior PGA win, Bland will be exempt for the US Senior Open at Newport Country Club (27-30 June) and The Senior Open at Carnoustie (25-28 July).

Harig confirmed via Twitter:

Richard Bland’s win at the Senior PGA Championship will not come with the customary one-year PGA Tour Champions exemption because he is playing for LIV Golf.

From the Tour:

“In spite of the win, because of competing in an unauthorized event by the PGA TOUR, he will be ineligible for TOUR-affiliated events. The PGA of America, USGA and R&A each operate based on criteria of their own.”

Bland won his sole DP World Tour title at the 2021 British Masters at The Belfry, a victory that saw him become the oldest first-time winner on the circuit at the age of 48.

The Englishman decided to terminate his DP World Tour card last season.

Bland has chalked up one top-10 finish in seven LIV Golf appearances in 2024.

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