Oxfordshire's Eddie Pepperell fired a two-under-par opening round of 70 at the British Masters today.

The Abingdon golfer, who is the defending champion, hit three birdies and a bogey at the Betfred-sponsored event at Hillside, in Southport.

Starting at the tenth, Pepperell parred his opening ten holes.

He picked up a shot at the second, only to fall back to level par two holes later.

However, a birdie at the fifth took him back to one-under.

And he picked up a further shot at the par-four eighth to finish well.

Pepperell will again be playing with Tommy Fleetwood, who is hosting the event, and Stephen Gallacher when he starts his second round at 1.30pm tomorrow.