EDDIE Pepperell made a terrific return to the European Tour in the opening round at the Dubai Duty Free Irish Open.

The 28-year-old, from Abingdon, playing for the first time in seven weeks after resting a back injury, carded a five-under-par 65 to move into a share of third place.

He got off to the perfect start at Lahinch in County Clare with a birdie at the first.

Pepperell also picked up shots at the fourth and ninth to reach the turn

three-under for his round.

His only blemish came with a bogey on the tenth, but the disappointment was short-lived.

Back-to-back birdies on the 12th and 13th undid the damage, before a sixth birdie of the round at the par-five 18th.

Pepperell will resume at 8.50am, two shots behind leader Padraig Harrington.