Richard Bland created one of the stories of the season at The Belfry on Saturday by winning the Betfred British Masters, claiming his first-ever win on the European Tour.
It was the Englishman's 478th start on the tour and it was an emotional moment when he rolled in his short par putt on the 18th hole to beat Guido Migliozzi in a sudden-death playoff.
An emotional Bland could barely find words for his victory afterwards, especially when he spoke to his family on a video call behind the 18th green.
The World No. 218 shot a 6-under-par 66 on the final day to climb the leaderboard. He made a superb birdie on his 72nd hole to post 13-under-par in the clubhouse.
Migliozzi made a great up and down from the greenside bunker on the final hole to force a playoff, but unfortunately for the Italian, he made a bogey on the first playoff hole, gifting Bland the win.
The 48-year-old's victory was not lost on anyone, including people from across the sporting world and the entertainment sphere as well. Figures such as Fred Couples, England Cricket's Michael Vaughan and comedic actor Stephen Fry all sent their congratulations to Bland.
Today I saw something that inspired me and reminded me of why golf is the greatest game. Richard Bland who hadn’t won in his previous 478 professional starts wins the #britishmasters in a playoff on the @europeantour. Congrats @blandy73 on the first and wishing you many more!— fredcouplesgolf (@fredcouplesgolf) May 15, 2021
If at first you don’t succeed … @blandy73 Richard Bland has just won the British Masters at 48 years old, his first ever win. 478 tournaments as a professional. Everyone on the European Tour cheering him on. Much weeping. Terrific. And now for the FA Cup.— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) May 15, 2021
Absolutely fantastic Richard Bland ... !! 48 yrs young & now a winner !! Love it ... I am going to have a glass or 2 to celebrate ... Love Sport ... #EuropeanTour— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) May 15, 2021
Wow in floods watching #britishmasters - what a win for Richard Bland after 478 events!!! You can tell how much that means when the entire @SkySportsGolf team are so emotional @NickDougherty5 loved it. #golf #nevergiveup— Ben Shephard (@benshephard) May 15, 2021