AN excellent start put Eddie Pepperell firmly in contention to make the weekend at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

The Abingdon golfer began a tournament he won three years ago with four straight birdies.

Pepperell faded in his first event since January, but still carded a respectable two-under par in his opening round.

Playing alongside China's Haotong Li and American John Catlin, the Frilford Heath member was quick off the mark and found himself four-under after four holes.

The 30-year-old dropped a shot at the eighth, but made amends with another birdie at the ninth.

Pepperell remained largely consistent as he completed the back nine, with bogeys at the 15th and 18th his only blemishes.

The World No 169 starts his second round at 9.35am GMT tomorrow as he aims to make the cut for the first time in 2021.