EDDIE Pepperell could not hold his lead on the final day of the Betfred British Masters - but he still claimed his highest finish of the year.

The Abingdon golfer was ten-under par overnight at The Belfry, Sutton Coldfield, one shot ahead of the rest of the field.

But a one-over par 73 today saw him slip back to nine-under in a tie for 11th.

Pepperell ended four shots behind countryman Richard Bland and Italy's Guido Migliozzi, who will play-off for the title.

The Frilford Heath member joined Ryder Cup winner Edoardo Molinari in the final pair to tee off, with overcast conditions and a heavy downpour meeting him at the first hole.

His lead was soon under pressure as Bland picked up three shots on the front nine, on the way to a six-under par final round to take the clubhouse lead.

Molinari, meanwhile, sunk two birdies in his first three holes, although Pepperell also picked up a shot at the par-four second.

A frustrating front nine ultimately cost the 30-year-old, though, as bogeys at the fourth, sixth and ninth saw him drop down the leaderboard.

Pepperell stabilised and a birdie at the 13th raised hopes of a late charge, but a string of pars ended an ultimately positive weekend.

While he could not repeat his win at this tournament in 2018, the world No 210 improved on his previous best performance of 2021 - last week's 12th place at the Canary Islands Championship.

It is Pepperell's highest finish since he was sixth at the BMW PGA Championship in October.