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Bland earns 2013 European Tour card - just!
Richard Bland has secured his European Tour card for 2013 by the narrowest of margins.
The Stoneham pro earned the final qualification place in the order of merit on a tense last day of the campaign.
Bland finished in a tie for 69th at the Hong Kong Open, but had to endure a nervous wait to find out whether he had done enough to retain his place on Tour.
The Southampton-based player pocketed just €2,913 in prize money – but it proved to be a vital sum.
After results were calculated in his event, Bland was left in 118th in the Race to Dubai standings, with the top 119 securing a card.
However, with the South Africa Open – which was running simultaneously – finishing much later, the 39-year-old had to wait anxiously to see how far he would drop.
It quickly became apparent, however, that Bland’s status on Tour was safe, with Tommy Fleetwood the only person able to overtake him at the death.
Bland ended his campaign with a total of €184,018 in prize money.
The standings were so tight, though, that he ended up retaining his card by just the tiny sum of €693 – the gap between him and the unfortunate Tjaart van der Walt in 120th position.
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