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January 21, 2016

Richard Bland

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Q. Nice start to 2016, isn't it, 67 to start?
RICHARD BLAND: I started last week. Yeah, 5-under around here, you're always going to be very happy with that. This is probably one of the toughest setups we play outside of major golf. So to shoot 5-under, I'm very pleased.

Q. You've been here countless times and it has not always been this good, has it?
RICHARD BLAND: I think I've shot 65 around here once in an opening round. But I do okay here. I've made cuts here but just never really got in the thick of it. And I think playing last week in Joburg really helped. I was in Dubai the week before that with my coach practicing, and I've done that a few years now. Even though I've done a lot of practice, I've come here and not really felt ready because the setup is so tough.

But I think playing last week kind of gave me an idea where I was at and yeah, I felt a lot more comfortable out there.

Q. Bit of a break and got it back going again --
RICHARD BLAND: Yeah, you always kind of put the clubs away for Christmas and new year and what have you. I was keen to get back out to Dubai and start putting some hours in. Yeah, there's glimpses of it. Last week I played quite nicely the first two days and fell back a bit at the weekend. I'm really pleased to get off to a good start again this week.

Q. Are you a man that sets yourself targets, aims, for the year ahead?
RICHARD BLAND: Obviously I'm always after that first win. So that's the huge thing for me. But the main thing for me is if I can just keep improving, I'm probably one of the older guys out here now, so it's just with the way the Tour is going, with the way Keith seems to be wanting to take the Tour, it's just a huge incentive for me to stay fit, stay healthy and stay out here as long as I can. Yeah, that's what's driving me forward, really.

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