Eddie Pepperell was upbeat after getting a first taste of the European Tour in South Africa.

The Abingdon golfer has earned a place on the elite circuit for the 2013 season after an excellent year on the European Challenge Tour, but received an invite to last weekend’s tournament near Johannesburg.

Rounds of 74 and 73 left the 21-year-old on three-over-par and a share of 95th place at the South African Open Championship, missing the cut by four shots.

But despite failing to make the final two rounds, Pepperell was pleased to have the chance to sample the tour ahead of the season starting next month.

He said: “It was definitely different, the course was tougher in some ways and the players were obviously better. “But I know I can compete at this level, I just have to get certain areas of my game working.

“The way the course is designed your margins for error are smaller, so you have to be more on top of your game.

“The ball was going a country mile as well because of the altitude, so it was hard to control distance.

“That’s all part of it, I was up against it to get a good result but that’s why I went, because next time I will know what to expect.”

Pepperell’s challenge in South Africa only faded over the final few holes of his second round.

The Frilford Heath golfer missed a good chance for a birdie at the penultimate hole, before a double bogey at the last.

Pepperell will return to South Africa when the European Tour season begins on December 6 with the Nelson Mandela Championship in Durban.

He will travel to Spain later this week for warm-weather preparation.