GOLF: Pepperell boosted by first Tour cut

Eddie Pepperell made the cut by a single stroke in South Africa

Eddie Pepperell made the cut by a single stroke in South Africa

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Sports Reporter covering Oxford United. Follow us on twitter: @oxfordmailoufc. Call me on 01865 425458

EDDIE Pepperell carded one of the best final rounds at the Alfred Dunhill Championship to leap up the leaderboard on Sunday.

A birdie at the last sealed a four-under par round of 68, which was only bettered by three players, moving the Abingdon golfer up 28 places into a share of 30th place at Leopard Creek, South Africa.

It was a notable finish for Pepperell, who made his first cut on the European Tour in only the second event of the season.

But the 21-year-old was not that impressed with his play.

He said: “I was struggling all week and even the final day I didn’t hit the ball very well.

“But I dug in to make the cut, which was important because if I had missed, it that would have been the third in a row (on the European Tour) and it could have become a problem mentally.

“Finishing 30th is nothing to shout about, but the way I did it is the main thing to take from it.

“If I had played really well and come 30th that wouldn't have been a good sign.

“It also earned a good amount of money which could make a difference at the end of the season.”

The prize money of almost £10,000 provided a useful financial boost and sent the Frilford Heath player up to 40th in the Tour rankings.

Pepperell needed a late surge in the second round to scrape into the weekend.

Following a two-over 74 in the first round, he began Friday with a double bogey.

He steadied himself to get under par for the round, only to stumble again with back-to-back bogeys.

But a string of three successive birdies changed his fortunes and a two-under par 70 was enough to make the cut by a single stroke.

Pepperell shot 73 in the third round, but he finished on a high with a 68.

He is unsure about his next event. He will definitely be playing in the South Africa events in February, but there is a chance he could get into the Qatar Masters.

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