RICHARD Bland is determined to stay at the top of his game as long as possible - after the best back-to-back seasons of his career.

The 42 year-old produced his best golf of the season at the Turkish Airlines Open last week to go 72nd on the European Tour’s order of merit and take his prize money for the year to €465,289.

He needed to finish in the top 60 to qualify for the prestigious Race to Dubai but after following his exceptional 2014 with another good season, he is content to reflect on the best two years of his career.

“You could probably say I started the season with a B, had a D-minus during the middle and finished with a B-plus,” he said.

“I got off to a decent start carrying on from where I left off last season, before losing my game in the middle part of the year.

“But from August onwards I was back to how I was at the start and had a lot of good scores - five, six and seven under pars - in the last two months.

“It was just a shame my game didn’t click into place until the end.

“Ultimately that five-to-six week stretch cost me a place on the Race To Dubai.

“But I need to take the positives. I’m cementing my place on the European Tour more and more every year which is very pleasing.”

After qualifying for the Turkish Airlines Open, Stoneham star Bland shot 67 and 65 to go second, two shots off the lead, following a stunning run of seven birdies from the last nine holes of his second round last week.

He finished tied for 16th with Ian Poulter after rounds of 72 and 73.

“When you’re one of the older ones on the tour - I’ll be 43 in February - it’s quite satisfying knowing that, although I can’t go as hard as they can, I can still compete with the younger lads coming through,” he said.

Bland will have more time to prepare for next year when he and his partner Louise complete their move from Basingstoke to Ottershaw, Surrey this month.

It will mean he is only ten minutes from his main practice base at The Wisley.

“It will really improve the work-life balance as I’ll have an extra hour at home in the evenings and be nearer Gatwick and Heathrow,” he explained.

“I’ve only got one tournament in the next few months so the aim is to spend a lot of time getting the body fitter and flexible for the start of next year.

“That’s important for my longevity with the Tour becoming a younger place to play.”