KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship

Quick Quotes

Harbor Shores

Benton Harbor, Michigan, USA

Thursday, May 23, 2024

Richard Bland

Q. Richard Bland with us at the 84th KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. Richard, 7-under 64 for you today. How about that start for you?

RICHARD BLAND: Yeah, it's nice to start the senior career with 7-under. Yeah, very happy with the way I played. Yeah, I got a little untidy at the end there; overall hit a lot of good shots. I had no real stress at all to hole anything for par apart from about a 7-footer on my 17th. So, yeah, really nice start to the week.

Yeah, still a long way to go. We're all here, we've all been around the block enough. All it is is a good start. I've got to try and get some rest and get ready to go again tomorrow.

Q. Just to verify, first time playing an over-50 event?

RICHARD BLAND: Yes, sir, yes. So, you know, I like the course. When I got here I kind of felt it sort of the lends itself to my strength. You got to drive it good to give yourself then the opportunities to hit your iron shots close to the flag. Greens are firming up a little bit.

I managed to do that today. Yeah, very pleased.

Q. You said you had a look at 8, right, coming in, your 17th?

RICHARD BLAND: Yeah, I hit a poor tee shot there into the heavy stuff on to right. If you would've given me a four there I would've picked it up straightaway. Just managed to get it on the green about 50 feet and, yeah, had to hole about a 7-footer there for a par.

And then I kind of -- the only shot I didn't commit to all day was the tee shot on 9 which was a little disappointing, because it's kind of a really good opportunity to make birdie there and grab the lead.

But, yeah, I just -- only shot I didn't commit to all day which was a little disappointing. No damage done, so like I said, go again tomorrow.

Q. Where did you hit the drive?

RICHARD BLAND: I just -- I hit 3-wood. You know, I just kind of -- I don't know, I didn't really pick a really clear target and just hit it in the right rough. Yeah, I didn't really have any chance of going for it in two.

You know, it's a pretty wide target as well for me. Yeah, and that's just one of the things that I kind of pride myself on, that I want to commit to every shot. If I hit a poor shot, that's fine. That's golf.

What I struggle with mentally is when I don't commit to it. Probably the first time I've done that this year, so I guess I got to cut myself a little bit of slack.

Q. What did you feel you did best as you look at the round today?

RICHARD BLAND: Yeah, my distance control, my irons, I hit a lot of good iron shots. Like I said I drove the ball well. Hadn't missed a fairway until my 17th. Yeah, it wasn't like I was hitting edges of the fairway. I was pretty center of cut most of the day.

So yeah, but my iron shots were right where I wanted them. So I could have holed a couple more putts. I guess everybody could say that.

Yeah, hopefully good night's rest and come back strong tomorrow.

Q. Richard, what event did you win to get your exemption into this?

RICHARD BLAND: I didn't. I had an invite.

Q. You had an invite?

RICHARD BLAND: Yeah, I got invited last year. Completely out of the blue. I wasn't expecting it. I got an e-mail from Bob Jeffrey. Unfortunately I couldn't play it. Clashed with a LIV event.

And then when I looked at the schedule this year, I saw that it was a free week, so I kind of reached out and said, look, I appreciated the gesture for the invite. If it could be run to this year I would love to come play.

And Bob came straight back and said, we would love to have you, so here I am. I know Seth Waugh very well. He was my Dunhill partner few moons ago now. So I saw Seth last night. You know, I thanked him for it. Yeah, I'm very grateful for the invite and hopefully I can do something with it.

Q. And you heard from other people about this golf course and stuff like that?

RICHARD BLAND: Not really. I kind of looked a little online. I kind of Googled the golf club and they had like a drone of each hole, so I kind of looked at that.

I knew the greens were a little lumpy in places, but I first saw it on Monday, and then I played nine holes yesterday and that was that.

So, I guess it's nice to come out with a strong start.

Q. You have two in Texas coming up. Do you stay straight through or go home?

RICHARD BLAND: Yeah, I go home for a week after this and come back out to Houston. Then we have a week off there. I'm going to be up in Long Island. I'm going to play some golf with Kalle Samooja, another guy on the Cleeks. I've got a couple friends up there so we're going to play Shinnecock and practicing at Friar's Head, which is pretty special.

And then, yeah, I'll then fly from there to Nashville on the Monday. So, yeah, I'll have three weeks in America.

Q. Have you ever done that?

RICHARD BLAND: Yeah, I did it last year. The guy that I played most of my Dunhill Links with is an art dealer in New York and he's a member at Shinnecock and National and Deepdale, so we played those. Yeah, and we played Friar's, which was very special.

Yeah, looking forward to that. Hopefully the weather will be kind.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
144408-2-1041 2024-05-23 23:51:00 GMT

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