U.S. Senior Open updates: Bland defeats Fujita on fourth playoff hole – PGA TOUR – PGA TOUR

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Richard Bland won the 44th U.S. Senior Open on the fourth playoff hole at Newport Country Club. (Brennan Asplen/Getty Images)
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England's Richard Bland won the 44th U.S. Senior Open with a par on the fourth playoff hole at Newport Country Club, outlasting Japan's Hiroyuki Fujita in a marathon Monday finish in Rhode Island.
Both players finished regulation at 13-under 267, requiring a two-hole aggregate playoff on Nos. 10 and 18. After both players went par-par, the playoff moved to a sudden-death format on No. 18. Both players made bogey on the first hole of sudden-death, and Bland got up-and-down for par from a greenside bunker on the second hole of sudden death, the fourth playoff hole overall, to earn his second senior major title of the season. Bland also won the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship in Michigan.
Read below for how the Bland-Fujita playoff unfolded at the 44th U.S. Senior Open.
11:21 a.m. ET update: Richard Bland delivers a signature moment on the fourth playoff hole, the par-4 18th, rattling the flagstick with his third shot from the greenside bunker and tapping in for par to win the 44th U.S. Senior Open. After being forced to lay up with his second shot into the wind, Hiroyuki Fujita pitched to roughly 20 feet and narrowly missed his par putt on the right side. That set the stage for Bland's winning moment, as the Englishman adds to his KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship title with his second senior major of the year.
11:05 a.m. ET update: Both players make bogey on the third playoff hole, the long par-4 18th into the wind. Richard Bland fades his approach well right of the green; his slippery pitch races past the hole and he two-putts from 20 feet. Hiroyuki Fujita's second shot catches a front greenside bunker and he can't get up and down, missing a 15-footer for par to win.
We're headed to a fourth playoff hole at the 44th U.S. Senior Open, again the par-4 18th at historic Newport Country Club. After a two-hole aggregate, the format is now sudden-death until a winner is determined.
10:47 a.m. ET update: Both players two-putt for par on the second playoff hole, the par-4 18th. The two-hole aggregate playoff is tied at even par. The playoff will continue in a sudden-death format, with Hiroyuki Fujita and Richard Bland repeating the par-4 18th hole until a winner is determined.
10:31 a.m. ET update: It looked like advantage Bland on the first hole of the two-hole aggregate playoff, the par-4 10th, but Fujita drained a slippery 6-footer for par after Bland's 10-foot birdie try slid by. They remain tied to the second playoff hole, the par-4 18th.
In the event of a tie through two playoff holes, the format will move to sudden-death on the par-4 18th, repeating on No. 18 until a winner is determined.
Monday, July 1 update (10:13 a.m. ET): After the U.S. Senior Open's final round was completed Monday morning, a two-hole aggregate playoff will determine the champion.
Hiroyuki Fujita and Richard Bland each posted 13-under 267 at Newport Country Club. Bland made bogey at the par-4 18th Monday morning, the hole playing into a whipping wind, to post 13 under from the penultimate grouping. One group later, Fujita flushed a fairway metal to the front of the green and two-putted for par to also post 13 under. Fujita's birdie try narrowly missed on the hole's front edge, curling just to the left of the cup.
The two-hole aggregate playoff will be contested on Nos. 10 and 18.
The par-4 10th measures 456 yards; the par-4 18th measures 473 yards.

Just when folks were thinking that nothing could slow Japan’s Hiroyuki Fujita at the 44th U.S. Senior Open, along came something that finally could. Weather.
First, it was a heavy fog that delayed the morning start of the final round for two hours at Newport Country Club on Sunday. Then, a summer storm along the coast with electricity inside it rolled in during the afternoon, forcing players off the course, eventually for the day, at 3:01 p.m. ET.

Play is scheduled to resume at 8 a.m. ET on Monday, with Fujita, who is in the midst of a dream week, at 16 under par, and leading by three shots over England’s Richard Bland, who is trying to win his second senior major in as many starts.
Fujita, 55, is trying to win his first, and he has played near-perfect golf this week. A winner of 18 titles on the Japan Golf Tour and a player ranked as highly as 43rd in the world more than a decade ago, he opened this tournament by shooting 7-under 63, and his grip has been on the lead ever since.
Fujita is known for a sharp short game and steady putting, but at Newport this week, he has impressed fellow pros with his long game, most notably his performance off the tee. Thus far, Fujita has hit 98 percent of his fairways – 49 of 50. He also leads the field in birdies, with 18. He has two bogeys in 64 holes.
Fujita has played 10 holes of his final round and has been steady if not spectacular. He made one bogey on Sunday at the par-3 fourth but offset it with three front-nine birdies to build his lead. Fujiti has missed one fairway all week (that coming in Thursday’s first round). To say the least, he has not been leaving his pursuers many openings.
Bland, 51, came from behind in the final round to capture last month’s KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores in Michigan. A powerful ball-striker, he closed with 63. At Newport, Bland has one of the day’s best final rounds going – he is 4 under as he plays the par-4 11th hole in the grouping ahead of Fujita – but he started the day five shots back, and still has a significant gap to close with just eight holes to do it.
Australian Richard Green, 53, a runner-up to Bland at the Senior PGA, is in third place, 1 under for his round and 12 under for the tournament, sitting four shots back. Green, a slender left-hander with plenty of game, is seeking his first victory on PGA TOUR Champions. He also shot 63 on Thursday to share the opening-day lead with Fujita.
Steve Stricker, last year’s PGA TOUR Champions Player of the Year after a season in which he won six times, including three majors, has faded after starting the round just two back. Stricker, 57, seeking his first victory of 2024, is 2 over for his round, and 10 under for the championship.
In addition to his 18 wins on the Japan Golf Tour, Fujita has won three senior titles in his home country. This is his fifth senior major start. Before this week, he never before had broken 70. This week, he started out 63-66-67 on a classic Newport layout that played host to the very first U.S. Amateur (Charles Blair Macdonald) and very first U.S. Open (Horace Rawlins) in 1895.
All these years later – 129, to be exact – Fujita is trying to add his name to an esteemed list of champions at Newport, right behind Tiger Woods (1995 U.S. Amateur) and Annika Sorenstam, who won the last of her 10 major championships on the LPGA at the 2006 U.S. Women’s Open at Newport.
Four players will enter Monday morning double-digits under par.
“I’m very amazed by what we have seen so far,” Rhode Islander Billy Andrade said of the scoring. Andrade first played Newport as a youth and is level par for the tournament with one hole to play on Monday.
As for the tournament’s surprise leader, Andrade is much like his fellow players on Tour in that, before this week, he did not know him.
“I’ve asked so many people, who is this guy?” Andrade said on Golf Channel late Sunday. “I talked with Steve Stricker last night upstairs in the locker room … He said, ‘Man, I’ll tell you. This guy can play.’
"Three-shot lead with what, nine, eight holes to go? It depends on the weather. It could play hard.
It’s hard to sleep on a lead, and now he’s got to do it again.”
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