Richard Green’s bold showing at the US Senior Open

Richard Green has finished third at a storm-affected 2024 US Senior Open in a bold performance by the 53 year old Victorian.

Green shot a 1-over 71 at the Newport Country Club on Rhode Island when play resumed Monday after the final round was suspended Sunday afternoon with 8 holes to play.

That score matched the 71 by earlier breakaway tournament leader Hiroyuki Fujita of Japan, who was caught eventual winner Richard Bland (66).

Fujita and Bland finished regulation tied on 13-under and it was the Englishman who won his second straight senior major on their fourth playoff hole.

Bland won the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in May, where Green was runner up.

“To get this one as well, to go two for two, is beyond my wildest dreams,” said Bland. “I was just hoping going into the PGA that I was good enough to contend; I hadn’t played against these guys. But to be here with two majors – I’m at a loss for words at the moment.”

Green closed on 10-under, a stroke ahead of Steve Stricker (73), the 2019 champion and the runner-up in each of the last two years.

Twelve Australasians had teed it up in the championship with Green heading season debutante Cameron Percy (71) T12, NZ’s Steve Alker (71) T12, Michael Long (68) T22, Mark Hensby (68) T31, Stuart Appleby (69) T38 and Greg Chalmers (70) T42.

Bland didn’t win on the European Tour (now DP World Tour) until his 478th start, at the age of 48. He only earned a spot in the U.S. Senior Open by winning the Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores last month. He only got his spot in that one by winning the 2021 British Masters.

Now he is the third golfer to win his first two starts in senior majors, along with Arnold Palmer and Alex Cejka. He also joins 1995 U.S. Amateur champion Tiger Woods and 2006 U.S. Women’s Open winner Annika Sorenstam with a victory at Newport, one of the five founding members of the USGA.

“To be in that bracket, I’m probably doing a little disservice, to be honest with you,” Bland said. “To be in that kind of bracket is very, very special and something you can only dream of.”

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