EDDIE Pepperell returned to action in style as he finished ninth at the Italian Open.

The Frilford Heath member ended the Rome tournament five-under par, largely thanks to a strong opening three rounds.

The first day in Rome saw him hole an eagle on the 12th, plus birdies on the 16th and 18th holes. Two bogeys dampened the day but Pepperell still finished two-under par on the opening day.

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The 12th hole continued to be a favourite, with another eagle on the second day. Two birdies and three bogeys left the 32-year-old one-under par, before a brilliant third round included five birdies as he went into the final day three-under par.

After a strong start, which saw three birdies and a bogey on the problematic eighth hole, a double bogey on the 14th hampered his return slightly as he went on to finish the day one-over par.

Pepperell had last finished a tournament in December, when he ended up 17th at the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa.

Discussing his short break from golf, Pepperell told DP World Tour: “I just wasn’t in a great spot at the start of the year, with my game and my mind wasn’t in a great place either, and we had a lot going on at home so it just felt like I was quite unprepared for the start of the year.

“I’ll play a lot from here on in so I’m looking forward to that.”

It’s a quick turnaround for Pepperell, who is next in action at the Soudal Open, which gets underway in Belgium tomorrow.