EDDIE Pepperell made a solid start to his debut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Florida.

Despite dropping a shot at the last, the golfer from Abingdon carded a level-par 72 for a share of 49th place after the first round at Bay Hill.

Spain's Rafa Cabrera Bello leads the way on seven-under.

After a bogey at the second hole, Pepperell moved under par by picking up birdies with long putts at the fifth and seventh.

But that was undone on the eighth, when his approach to the green landed in the water, setting up a double-bogey six.

The Frilford Heath member's eventful front nine finished with a birdie thanks to a stunning second shot at the par four, leaving him a tap-in to get back to level par.

Another excellent approach gave him an eagle chance at the par five 12th, but a birdie got him back to one-under, before the dropped shot at the last.

Pepperell is one of the early starters in Friday's second round, which he will start at 11.57am (GMT).