Eddie Pepperell begins his debut season on the European Tour in South Africa today.

The Abingdon golfer tees off in the Nelson Mandela Championship after earning his card thanks to an excellent year on the European Challenge Tour.

Pepperell was given a taste of life on the elite circuit last month, following an invitation at short notice to play in the South African Open Championship.

The 21-year-old narrowly missed the cut after shooting rounds of 74 and 73, but is raring to go at Royal Durban Golf Club after an extra fortnight’s build-up.

He said: “I feel like I’m playing better than I was two weeks ago, I’ve seen my coach and have spent some time in Spain, so I feel like I’m quite well prepared.

“I’m really excited, obviously there’s a little bit of apprehension because you just don’t know what to expect, but I know in the past I have handled it well.

“There’s no reason why I feel I can’t compete.”

Coming just after the end to the 2012 season, the tour’s biggest names will not be in action.

But it remains a quality field, with the home contingent led by world No 36 Branden Grace, while other well-known names include Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen, a three-time winner on the European Tour, and England’s David Howell.

RESULTS CHECK NORTH OXFORD Pimms Cup 2nd round (Saturday only): 1 P Major 39pts, 2 C Black 35 (cb), 3 J Coleman 35. Midweek Stableford: 1 L Gurdev 39pts, 2 M Rana 32 (cb), 3 C Caffel 32. Winter Challenge 4th round: 1 G Watts & S Horne 41pts, 2 M Bodle & S Thompson 40, 3 D Spencer & L Wheeler 37. KIRTLINGTON Medal Div 1: 1 G Willoughby 39pts, 2 T Perella 38 (cb), 3 L Davies 38. Div 2: 1 T Graham 37pts, 2 G Durham 36 (cb), 3 N Butler 36. Seniors Stableford: 1 J Briden 40pts, 2 M Pickett 38 (cb), 3 K Rapley 38. Seniors Medal: 1 R Mitchell 79-12=67 (cb), 2 D Haynes 83-16=67, 3 R Briggs 93-25=68 (cb).