Richard Bland has no regrets about joining the LIV Golf rollercoaster and wants to play a central role in helping the tour reach greater heights.
The veteran was among the first players to sign up last year and is now setting his sights on returning to Centurion Club, the scene of the tour’s maiden competition as LIV London returns to a beefed-up 2023 calendar.
Charl Schwartzel topped the leaderboard in Hemel Hempstead last year – the first stop on an eight-event tour.
Six legs have been added for the 2023 campaign and Bland admits it’s hard to believe the progress that has been made in such a short space of time.
“LIV has come further than we could ever have imagined,” he said.
“I’m so proud of what everyone has done, what we are trying to do and how we are trying to get it across to golf fans around the world.
“I only see it getting bigger and bigger, which is massively exciting.
“We are all looking forward to it [Centurion]. London kicked it all off last year and we’re excited to go back there. The crowds will be bigger and louder, which is what we want as players. I can’t wait.”
The highlight of Bland’s two decades on the DP World Tour came in front of home fans in May 2021 as he ended a wait for a victory on his 478th start, holding off Guido Migliozzi in a play-off to lift the Betfred British Masters at the Belfry.
The Burton-born ace will hope a return to UK soil can kickstart a LIV season which has so far seen him record a best finish of 14th in the 48-player fields and believes the quality of the home contingent on show will see crowds flock to St Albans.
“You’ve had Lee [Westwood], Poults [Ian Poulter], Paul [Casey] at the top of the tree for 20 years and I still think they are,” he said.
“You always have good young talent coming through, but their games still stack up and that’s testament to their career and their dedication to the game over the last 25 or 30 years.
“You can’t speak highly enough of them.”