GOLF: Pepperell's birdie blitz keeps him in touch

Eddie Pepperell eagerly jumps up to follow the progress of one of his fine array of shots on Wentworth’s front nine yesterday

Eddie Pepperell eagerly jumps up to follow the progress of one of his fine array of shots on Wentworth’s front nine yesterday

First published in Sport

Oxfordshire's Eddie Pepperell shot four birdies in a row after having to wait almost three hours to play in the first round at Wentworth yesterday.

The Frilford Heath professional, who showed his liking for the course with a tied sixth-place finish last year, was unable to finish his first round after two lengthy rain delays disrupted the opening day of European golf’s flag ship tournament.

Pepperell finished the day on three under par after managing to play just 12 holes. That placed him in a tie for 14th place.

He will complete his first round this morning.

But while he was out there, the 23-year-old from Abingdon, had a golden four-hole spell on the front nine.

After dropping a shot at the third, he birdied the the next four holes to go three under par and move into the top 15 of a star-studded field.

Another bogey at the eighth halted his progress, but he still played the front nine in two-under-par 33 strokes.

As the light began to fade, Pepperell birdied his last hole, the 12th, to get back to three under, He was ahead of top English stars Justin Rose and Ian Poulter, who went round in two-under-par 70s.

The day was dominated by Thomas Bjorn, who equalled the course record with a 62.

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