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Page last updated at 13:10 GMT, Tuesday, 9 June 2009 14:10 UK

Bland relishing his US Open debut

Richard Bland
Bland will be making just his second appearance in a major

Hampshire golfer Richard Bland says he cannot wait to make his debut in the US Open next week - even though he knows the course will be "brutally tough".

The European Tour pro from Southampton was handed a place at Farningdale, New York after a late withdrawal.

Bland told BBC Radio Solent: "It's going to be fantastic. It's something I've never experienced before, and it will be great to be part of it.

"I want to go there and enjoy it, but of course I also want to play well."

He added: "With the tournament being in New York as well it will make for a fantastic atmosphere. It'll be about fifty times as good as the best atmosphere I've ever played in.

"The course itself will be brutally tough. That's how the US Golf Association sets them up. Any slight mis-hit will be punished to the extreme.

"But I can't wait to get out and see what it's all about."

The 36-year-old, who is attached to Stoneham Golf Club in Southampton, is the world number 319, and has only made one appearance in a major before, missing the cut at the 1998 Open Championship at Birkdale.

"I'm going over to the US swinging the club nicely, and hitting the ball nicely, and I think I can do well," said Bland.

"But at an event like the US Open, you need every part of your game working well."

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