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LIV Golf star claims Seniors glory but is told playing rights won’t change



The LIV Golf and the PGA Tour feud returned to the fore at the Senior PGA Championship as the winner is ineligible for the one-year PGA Tour Champions exemption

Richard Bland tasted success for the first time in three years since his stunning British Masters victory(Getty Images)

Richard Bland won the Senior PGA Championship this weekend but cannot receive the customary one-year PGA Tour Champions exemption.

Bland, 51, received a special invitation from the PGA of America for the over-50s event and finished three shots clear of the field in his first senior start. The victory is his first since the 2021 British Masters on the European Tour. A year later, after continuing to impress on the DP World Tour Race to Dubai and then at the US Open, Bland joined the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational Series.

That move has led to him resigning his membership of the European Tour after receiving fines and a suspension. It also continues to cost Bland when it comes to senior golf.

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“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 tour confirmed in a statement shared hours after Bland’s victory.

“The PGA of America, USGA and R&A each operate based on criteria of their own,” the tour acknowledged. As such, Bland is exempt for the US Senior Open starting 27 June, which the USGA administers.

Bland will also be back to defend his Senior PGA Championship title at Congressional Country Club next year. Bland acknowledged that during a press conference following the victory. “Can’t wait to get there,” he remarked before acknowledging: “I’m going to enjoy this first. I’m going to enjoy the heck out of this.”

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