EDDIE Pepperell made a mixed start to his challenge at the Rocco Forte Open.

The Frilford Heath member carded a one-over-par 72 in the first round at Verdura, in Sicily.

Starting at the 11th, Pepperell immediately dropped a shot, before getting back to level par with a birdie at the par three 15th.

Another bogey two holes later saw him reach the turn one-over for his round, but the damage was undone by picking up a shot at the second.

Again the Abingdon golfer slipped back, this time with successive bogeys at the fifth and sixth.

Once more a par three yielded a birdie, this time at the seventh, saw Pepperell climb into a share of 51st place.

Denmark's Lucas Bjerregaard was the early leader, shooting a six-under-par round of 65.

Pepperell's second round begins at 12.15pm (BST) on Friday.