Now set it down. He did not.
The 48-year-old Englishman — original title, Richard — won the first tournament of a not-so-distinguished European Tour career in the British Masters only a month to snap 0-for-447 series and make an invitation to Torrey Pines. He followed his opening-round 67 using a 70 on Friday, sharing the top spot on the leaderboard using all the slightly-less-improbable Russell Henley in 5 below.
To indicate the golf club did not find either one coming could be a understatement.
“Most men who come here,” a reporter asked Bland in his post-round press conference,”have Ping or Titleist throughout their own hat.
“I really don’t have a hat type of deal in the moment. … I sort of said to the golf club’Look, it would be rather fine if I wore the hat’ and they gave me kind of like 10 to come out with.”
He has not listed one top-10 complete in 26 past significant appearances.
“I have been in this place before in a big,” Henley said. “Just feel as though I will learn something regardless of what occurs.”
Contrary to the double-digit birdie-fests that the PGA Tour phases to prefer the big-hitting stars weekly, there is no question in which the United States Golf Association set-ups collapse on the risk-reward scale.
The only time that a PGA Tour player experiences anything overly tall and gnarly because the tough pinching those fairways and ringing each green is after coming out of a month on the path to figure out the gardener retired.
That is not to mention, naturally, the game’s stars can not play hard courses, also. Amongst Others, Matthew Wolff reaches 4 below, Jon Rahm at 3 below, also Brooks Koepka, Colin Morikawa, Justin Thomas and Bryson DeChambeau are at even-par. Even 51-year-old Phil Mickelson, at two over, remains within shouting distance of the guide.
However, when a design such as Torrey Pines punishes mistakes as it benefits birdies, it sets each golfer on the defensive and also brings stable, short-hitting players such as Bland and Henley to the mixture. Another thing it does is fray everybody’s nerves.
The 22-year-old Wolff has spoke candidly this week concerning the 2 months he resigned from the match to decompress, and also the way coming no expectations beyond loving his rounds has lightened the weight. As revealing was the response Bubba Watson, who is at 3 below, gave a reporter asked about his comfort level at Torrey Pines this week.
Watson, a two-time Experts winner, suffers from acute anxiety. He is uncomfortable being in massive crowds, feels shy from the spotlight and anxieties of being judged — the profile of a top-flight golfer.
“I will be truthful with you,” Watson started his answer. “Do not tell nobody; this really is a secret. I’m nervous about every shot, OK? You create everything.’ I said,’I am attempting to upset it, guy, but they keep slipping ‘
“I really don’t understand what is happening,” he said . “I am so nervous”
It is little consolation, but the USGA has discovered a way to make even the very populous pros feel that the strain.
“Most times when I am five back going to a Saturday, I want to likely make 12, 15-plus birdies on the weekend to hang out there,” explained Thomas. “But this really is a U.S. Open. It is slightly different.
“Obviously I would really like to create 12 or even 15 birdies,” he added,”but I am not planning on that.”