OXFORDSHIRE’S Eddie Pepperell gave himself a birthday present with a strong start yesterday.

The Frilford Heath golfer, who turned 23, was delayed by fog but shot a three-under-par round of 69 in Doha.

It left him in a share of 27th place and in a strong position to make the cut as he tees off today at 7.55am (UK time) in the second round.

South Africa’s George Coetzee was the overnight leader after carding an eight-under round of 64, while an albatross on the first hole helped England’s Steve Webster claim a share of second place.