Tour pro makes claim about LIV Golf duo: "They would all acknowledge that"

English tour pro Eddie Pepperell says LIV Golf duo Ian Poulter and Lee Westwood would acknowledge Richard Bland is more motivated than they are.

Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter

English tour pro Eddie Pepperell says even Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter would acknowledge Richard Bland is more motivated than they are as he saluted the LIV Golf pro for his Senior PGA Championship win.

Bland, 51, marked his debut in a senior major last week at Harbor Shores Golf Club in Michigan with a three-shot victory over Australia's Richard Green. 

He eagled the 15th hole on his way to an eight-under par closing round of 63 for a 17-under total. 

The Englishman led after 36 holes but a third round of 74 meant he had it all to do going into the final round. 

He came racing out of the blocks on Sunday, making birdies on eight of his first 12 holes on his way to an emotional victory that he dedicated to his seriously ill brother Heath. 

Pepperell spoke of Bland's victory on the latest episode of The Chipping Forecast. 

The 33-year-old has been one of LIV's harshest critics since the breakaway tour's noisy introduction into the world of men's professional golf in June 2022. 

And he has history with Bland.

Last April, the pair were involved in a spicy exchange on X which resulted in Bland deleting his account. 

Bland apologised and acknowledged he had far too much to drink. 

"I should have known better not to tweet under the influence," he wrote. 

Still, Pepperell paid tribute to Bland's performances over the last four years. 

Bland became the oldest first-time winner on the DP World Tour when he won the 2021 British Masters at The Belfry on his 478th start. 

He joined LIV Golf the following year and has continued to be a pillar of consistency, defying his age to avoid relegation. 

"He has been playing good golf now for four years," Pepperell told the pod. "I think it pre-dates LIV his uptick in form and he's hungry."

Lee Westwood
Lee Westwood

Pepperell added: "He's clearly more motivated than the Westwoods and the Poulters of this world and I think they would all acknowledge that.

"It's great to see. I think Tim Barter [Bland's coach], that his average earning per LIV event is $330,000 so he's making very good money too."

In ordinary circumstances Bland's PGA Championship victory would have come with the customary one-year PGA Tour Champions exemption. 

But that won't be possible because he's a LIV player. 

A PGA Tour spokesperson told SI: "In spite of the win, because of competing in an unauthorized event by the PGA Tour, he will be ineligible for Tour-affiliated events. The PGA of America, USGA and R&A each operate based on criteria of their own."

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