EDDIE Pepperell was encouraged overall following an eventful Spanish Open which saw the Oxfordshire golfer experience plenty of highs and lows.

The Frilford Heath golfer finished in a season’s best share of 24th place in Girona, but at one stage in the second round was well clear of the field.

Despite being knocked off the top by the close of play on Friday, the 23-year-old was still in the final group on Saturday.

But a seven-over-par round of 79 saw him tumble down the leaderboard.

He dropped further shots on Sunday, before rallying over the closing holes.

It was a case of what might have been, but it gave Pepperell, who had not finished inside the top 40 in a disappointing start to his second season on the European Tour, cause for optimism.

He said: “I’m pretty satisfied on the whole.

“If somebody had said before the tournament you are going to lead but it’s not going to be your week and you’ll finish in the top 25 I would’ve probably taken that.

“If I keep moving forward, at some point I will win.

“Saturday was disappointing, but I didn’t swing it well at times.

“There was a bit of pressure and all of a sudden you hit some shots that didn’t feel very good.

“I had a really good shot of winning the tournament and Saturday could provide me with some really good stuff to move forward.”

A round of 68 in Thursday’s first round saw Pepperell lead by one shot overnight.

He made a brilliant start as one of the early starters on Friday, picking up four shots in his first three holes took him to eight-under-par for the tournament - a lead of five shots.

Apart from a brief stint in the final round at the same tournament last season, it was his first taste of being out in front for any length of time.

Pepperell, who will practice at Wentworth today ahead of the prestigious BMW PGA Championship, said: “With the level of golf I have been playing this year, I went from having no attention to having lots of attention, the buzz I got from that felt really nice.

“I’m hungry for more of that.”