Open 2017: Richard Bland hopes return to form will set up run to Royal Birkdale

Richard Bland
Richard Bland finished just a stroke behind winner Andres Romero at the BMW International in Munich

Richard Bland hopes he has found some timely form ahead of July's Open at Royal Birkdale after recent struggles.

The Southampton-based golfer finished joint second at the BMW International in Munich, having shared the lead with Sergio Garcia after three rounds.

Bland, 44, had his best European Tour performance of the year in Germany and feels his game is coming together.

"If I can keep improving my game in the month ahead, the sky's the limit," he told BBC Radio Solent.

Bland has already qualified for The Open by virtue of finishing in the top 30 on the 2016 European Tour money list after a strong finish to last year, but had struggled so far this year before Munich.

"I've got a big confidence boost after Germany," he said. "Hopefully I can take a step forward next week and really look forward to Royal Birkdale.

"There's four huge events before The Open, so it's a big four to five weeks that could be massive and really set the season up great."

Bland will also hope to tap into some of the current feel-good factor around Hampshire golf after Harry Ellis secured his place at Royal Birkdale by winning the British Amateur Championship on Saturday.

"I've heard lots about his game and that he's doing his scholarship in the States," he said. "Hopefully we can set up nine holes with Justin Rose on the Wednesday before the Open.

"It would be nice to see how he plays and that was incredible achievement for him to come from four holes down with five to play to win the amateur championship."

Bland's only previous Open experience was in 1998, also at Birkdale, when he missed the cut.

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