Golf-Reality check ends fairytale Bland run at U.S. Open

Jun 19, 2021; San Diego, California, USA; Richard Bland plays a shot from a bunker on the 16th hole during the third round of the U.S. Open golf tournament at Torrey Pines Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (Reuters) - Halfway U.S. Open co-leader Richard Bland received a sobering reality check when he plunged out of contention with a six-over-par 77 in the third round at Torrey Pines on Saturday.

The 48-year-old English journeymen held it together with just one bogey on the front nine.

But he struggled as the course firmed up in the afternoon sunshine, dropping five more shots and finishing ignominiously by hitting a ball into the pond known as Devlin's Billabong - named after Australian Bruce Devlin - in front of the 18th green.

Bland said that conditions had been much tougher on Saturday afternoon than when he played on Friday morning, and that he had not been able to adapt.

"Yesterday morning, it was pretty soft, so you could be a little bit more aggressive," he said.

"Today, (the greens) were a lot firmer, and if you're going to give yourself decent chances, you have to be spot on with your distance control with your irons, and that's where I fell down today. I struggled with my irons all day.

"I drove the ball pretty good, which is what you need to do. I just couldn't take advantage from there, and I didn't really give myself any decent looks for birdies."

Bland last month was rewarded for decades of perseverance when he became the oldest first-time winner on the European Tour.

He has endured too many hard knocks during his long career to let Saturday's disappointment sting too much.

"That's the U.S. Open," he said.

"Some days it's just going to beat you up all day, and today was my day.

"Just put this one down to experience."

(Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Christopher Cushing)

Article type: metered
User Type: anonymous web
User Status:
Campaign ID: 46
Cxense type: free
User access status: 3
Join our Telegram channel to get our Evening Alerts and breaking news highlights

Next In Golf

Olympics-Golf-Schauffele roars to halfway lead before play abandoned
Gavin comes out swinging but gets blown off course
Olympics-Golf-McIlroy supports Biles's decision to withdraw from Tokyo events
Olympics-Golf-Austria's Straka savours dream day with twin brother on bag
Olympics-Golf-Matsuyama makes steady start but feels lingering effects of COVID illness
Olympics-Golf-Straka storms to Tokyo lead as Matsuyama grinds
Daddy, caddy cool – Gary feels blessed to be by Gavin’s side
McIlroy gives course thumbs up after late touchdown
Min-jee savours Games boost with maiden Major
Olympics-Golf-Hovland, Johannessen bury the hatchet for Norway

Stories You'll Enjoy