David Drysdale 'close to tears' as Richard Bland won British Masters at 48
David Drysdale was “close to tears” as he watched long-time friend Richard Bland become a first-time winner on the European Tour, the recent Betred British Masters fairytale galvanising the Scot as he bids to follow suit.
Bland finally made the breakthrough at the age of 48 and playing in his 478th event on the circuit as he holed a brilliant birdie putt across the green at The Belfry on the 72nd hole before beating young Italian Guido Migliozzi in a play-off.
In his press conference afterwards, the Englishman said he hoped his success would provide inspiration for the likes of 46-year-old Drysdale, who has made more than 500 appearances on the European Tour without managing so far to land a victory.
“It was fantastic for Blandy,” Drysdale told The Scotsman before heading to Denmark to roll the dice for the 524th time in this week’s Made in HimmerLand event in Farso.
“Vicky (his wife and caddie) and I watched the last five holes of the British Masters and also the play-off after I saw that he was going well.
“I’ve known Blandy for 25 years and it was incredible that he’s now won. We go way back, and Vicky and I were almost in tears watching it as I’m in absolutely the same position as he was.
“We’ve had very similar careers, having been on the European Tour for 20 years or thereabouts, being back to Q School a couple of times and also back to the Challenge Tour.”
Bland won the sudden-death shoot-out with par at the first extra hole, with Drysdale admitting he was on the edge of his seat as that unfolded at the Ryder Cup venue in Sutton Coldfield.
“The second shot he hit on the play-off hole was unbelievable as it was a horrible lie,” said the Scot. “It’s funny as I then called Guido’s putt. I said to Vicky, ‘he’ll hit this way past the hole’ as he is so aggressive and that was a downhill putt.
“I certainly wasn’t wishing him any ill, far from it, but I said to Vicky that I felt he would hit it six feet past the hole and it was more like nine feet.”
Bland said he feels Drysdale is “more than good enough” to join him in the winner’s club, having come agonisingly close as he was pipped by Spaniard Jorge Campillo in last year’s Qatar Masters.
“I certainly hope so,” said the Cockburnspath man, speaking before 50-year-old Phil Mickelson became the oldest major in the US PGA Championship on Sunday, of hearing that.
“If you look at the world of golf this year, Stewart Cink winning twice, Lee Westwood playing great and now Blandy winning.
“These guys are all in their late 40s, so they have a couple of years on me. I have said for years that my goal is to get a few wins before I hang up my boots and that is still the goal.”
Drysdale, who missed the cut by miles at The Belfry after an uncharacteristic display of poor driving, is among eight Scots teeing up in Denmark this week.
Bob MacIntyre has headed straight from Kiawah Island to join Drysdale, Stephen Gallacher, David Law, Scott Jamieson, Richie Ramsay, Calum Hill and Connor Syme in the field.