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GOLF: Pepperell quick to learn on tour
EDDIE Pepperell is relishing his debut season on the European Tour and says he is already learning valuable lessons.
The 22-year-old returned to Abingdon on Monday after five weeks away playing in the Middle East and South Africa.
The trip finished with his best finish of the season, a share of 22nd place at the Africa Open in East London to move up to 102nd in the tour rankings.
But despite the good result, Pepperell is not keen on repeating the lengthy trip again.
He said: “The longest I have been away before was three weeks, so five is just so long.
“I’ll never do that again, at least I don’t want to do it, I think three is my limit.
“Any more and I’m clutching at straws in many respects – that’s a lesson I’ve learned and I’ve learned it quickly.
“It was a tough trip, I had a 30-hour journey coming home and that side of things isn’t enjoyable, but there are so many satisfying things.
“The higher up the ladder you get, the good things become more satisfying and more rewarding – that makes it all worthwhile.
“There are little things which are difficult, but it’s the same with any job and if you’re going to do something well, then you’ve got to be willing to realise it’s going to be difficult.”
During the trip he played in star-studded fields in Qatar and Dubai.
But the only time Pepperell was left pinching himself was while first reserve in Abu Dhabi, where he was practising alongside Tiger Woods.
He said: “It was odd thinking ‘I remember watching this tournament on TV last year’.
“The only moment I had was when I was practising on the putting green with Tiger Woods in Abu Dhabi.
“I’d never seen him in the flesh before, I don’t find him intimidating, but he has a presence about him.”
Pepperell returned to Frilford Heath on Tuesday for an evening with members to discuss his career so far.
More than 100 people attended and a raffle raised £1,270 to go towards covering his expenses.
He said: “It was a nice gesture for the club to do to get my thoughts and I really enjoyed it.
“It was good to see a few young kids in the audience as well.
“It’s great there’s a group of people that want me to do very well and I’ll never forget that.”
Pepperell will return to South Africa next week for the Tshwane Open, where he will team up with new caddy Tom Ridley.
The 26-year-old, from Wentworth, was formerly on the bag of Englishman Seve Benson.