Aug 13th, 2021
Bland storms back at Cazoo Classic
Englishman leads by one at the London Golf Club
Photography: Getty Images
Having earned an emotional first European Tour victory in May's Betfred British Masters, which came in his 478th start and at the age of 48, Bland has been riding a wave of positivity since, claiming top fives at the Made in HimmerLand presented by FREJA and the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.
His last appearance came at The Open in Royal St George's, where he hit the first tee shot of the Championship on Thursday morning, so the Southampton native returned to Kent this week brimming with optimism.
“Pretty much all of it was good today, I just felt like it was a continuation from where I left off before my break. I was driving the ball great, hitting some nice iron shots in and I didn’t really hole that much to be honest," said Bland.
A seven-under 65 continued his momentum on home soil as he earned a one-stroke lead over English compatriots Dale Whitnell and Jordan Smith, as well as American duo Sihwan Kim and Sean Crocker.
Bernd Wiesberger, who is chasing a big run of results in the next four weeks as he targets a late push into the qualification places for Pádraig Harrington's European Ryder Cup team, opened with a four-under-par 68 to share ninth position.