Richard Bland laments nightmare campaign

Richard Bland
Bland finished 65th on the European Tour last season

Hampshire golfer Richard Bland has admitted that he has had a hugely disappointing year.

Bland, 38, finished 162nd in the order of merit meaning he has to compete in a qualifying tournament in Spain to earn a place on the European Tour next year.

"This has probably been my worst season as a professional. I've had a lot of tournaments where I haven't been at the races," he told BBC Radio Solent.

"I'd have hoped to have played better even with off-course issues."

Only the top 115 players gain automatic qualification for the following season.

Last season Bland, who lives in Southampton, finished 65th - just five places outside the race to Dubai.

He will now have to go through the tour qualifying in Girona and finish in the top 30 to ensure he keeps his place on the European Tour.

Bland had to go through the same qualifying process in 2008 and believes that experience will stand him in good stead this time around.

"I finished the season strongly so I'm focussing on those positives," he added.

"In some ways it is harder than playing for a major, ultimately you are playing for your livelihood.

"I just need to draw on some of my experiences from my last 10 years on the Tour and try and use that to my advantage.

"I've been there and done it so I've got that to fall back on."