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GOLF: Pepperell unfazed by tough calls in pursuit of progress
EDDIE Pepperell believes he must continue to show a ruthless streak as he bids to push his career forwards this year.
The 23-year-old is into his second season on the European Tour, which continues with the Tshwane Open in South Africa on Thursday.
Oxfordshire’s No 1 enjoyed an excellent rookie season in 2013, finishing 76th on the European Tour’s rankings.
But there is no chance of the Abingdon golfer resting on his laurels.
Pepperell was quick to make changes last year in an effort to improve and the approach will continue.
He said: “I’m not particularly sentimental. If I’ve known somebody all my life and what they’re telling me isn’t what I feel is right, then I’ve got to get rid of that person.
“If your career comes first then there should be nothing that gets in your way.
“My two biggest success stories of last year, in my opinion, were changing coach and going to see a new putting coach. I got better from those two decisions.”
Pepperell’s best finish so far this season has been a share of 45th place in Abu Dhabi last month.
It puts him outside the top 150 in the Race to Dubai, but at this stage in the season there are no concerns.
The main area of improvement is on work away from the course to get stronger, with fitness coach Justin Buckthorp.
Pepperell said: “It’s a lot of mobility and stability work with a few strength exercises to focus on where I’m lacking in my swing.
“Every day I’m getting better and it’s easier to get more power.
“That’s really going to be the big thing for me because physically I have ebbed and flowed with it, whereas the best players have a commitment and stick to it.”
Frilford Heath hosted an evening with their star player last week.
About 150 people from across the county listened to Pepperell talk about his first year on the European Tour, before taking questions from the audience.
He said: “It’s always nice to talk and the questions were good as well.
“The atmosphere was good and I enjoyed it.”
The club put on a similar evening 12 months ago, which raised money to assist the fledgling professional.
This time more than £800 raised from the raffle was donated to Witney-based Young Dementia, which is the chosen charity of Frilford captains Gordon Neilson and Maureen Seward.
Jimmy James, general manager at the club, said: “Eddie’s got a decent ranking but he’s supported what’s a local charity. It was his idea.
“He wants to give something back.
“As a club we are absolutely delighted with how he’s doing.”
Pimms Cup round 4: 1 S Rana 43pts, 2 T Brennan 41, 3 D Burrows 40.
Ladies Stableford 2 – Div 1: 1 J Simmie 33pts, 2 S Stewart 32. Div 2: 1 L Riding 35pts, 2 M Brennan 31. Div 3: 1 S Blight 25pts (cb), 2 C Lloyd 25.