Richard Bland might have been disappointed to see a chance to secure a first European Tour win elude him – but his strong display in the Trophee Hassan II has injected further optimism into his season.

The Stoneham ace started the final day one shot off the lead in Morocco, but a poor front nine meant he ultimately ended up three back of winner Richie Ramsay.

Still, Bland’s share of ninth place took him above the €100,000 mark in prize money already this season and leaves him 63rd in the Race to Dubai standings.

“When you finish in the top ten, you know you have had a decent week, but I went out on Sunday and had a really good chance and just didn’t play well enough on the front nine,” said Bland, who rallied with four birdies on the back nine on Sunday, after being three-over at the turn.

“But I’m proud of the way I hung in there and battled my way back.

“I know my game’s not a million miles away from being really good. If it wasn’t for just three or four holes on the front nine, I could have been right in there, but it wasn’t to be.

“Yes, I’m disappointed, but I haven’t lost any confidence over it.

“If I keep playing like I’m playing then hopefully it will all come together at the right time and, hey ho, you’re holding a trophy.

“I know my time’s going to come and I’ve just got to be patient.”

Bland will now head to China in mid-April, for the Shenzen International and the Volvo China Open.

“The start of the season has been very positive and it’s nice to know you’re playing pretty decent, coming into the time of year when you really want to be playing well,” he said.

“The BMW [PGA Championship] is right around the corner, there’s the Irish and the French, so we’ve got some great events coming up.

“You’re always trying to improve and sharpen up your game, but it’s nice not to feel like you’re searching for something that’s missing.”