Richard Bland needed 478 starts on the European Tour to notch his first victory. Now, the 48-year-old is making a bona fide bid at his second win in three events.
Bland, playing in the United States for just the second time in his 28-year career, is the surprise leader at the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines. Bland shot a 4-under-par 67 in the second round and stood at 5-under for the tournament, giving him a one-stroke lead over Russell Henley, who was yet to tee off.
Bland, starting his round on hole No. 10, tallied birdies on five of his first eleven holes and got as low as a cumulative 6-under before giving one stroke back.
Bland’s winless streak spanned nearly 20 years, but at last came to an end last month at the British Masters. In his most recent outing before the US Open, Bland tied for third at a European Tour event in Denmark.
He is currently ranked 115th in the world. Previously, Bland missed the cut at the 2009 U.S. Open at Bethpage, where he shot 77-70.