GIVEN the contrast between the Middle East desert and a snow-covered Oxfordshire, Eddie Pepperell could be forgiven for thinking the past week had all been a dream.

But he need not have worried about pinching himself – the two-foot putt to win the Qatar Masters really had dropped in to seal a first

victory on the European Tour.

And after the giddy high in Doha, readjusting to life back at home in Sutton Courteney has been a challenge.

“It’s been a bit of a come down from all the adrenalin – and the fact I had a bit of a hangover,” he said.

“Combine all that together and the last few days I’ve felt a bit of a low, for sure. But that’s to be expected.

“It’s been good, there have been loads of messages and it’s been nice to enjoy it at home for a few days.”

Pepperell was at the sharp end for the whole four days in Qatar.

An opening round of 65 got him into a share of the lead and it was backed up by a 69 and a 66 to go into the final day alongside fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher.

While the pair began two shots clear of the field, when his playing partner dropped three shots in a row, the 27-year-old suddenly found himself clear.

But what looked like being a procession turned into a nail-biting finish as Fisher stormed back.

He had a putt to draw level at the last – and there was only one thing in Pepperell’s mind.

Having won on the Challenge Tour via a play-off in 2012 and lost in the Irish Open by the same method three years later, extra holes looked a certainty.

“It was all going through my head on that final green,” he admitted.

“I was thinking there was an inevitability that Oli was going to hole it.

“Although I was telling myself it was 50/50, I feared the worst.

“So when it missed I thought ‘there you go, it’s a two-foot putt to win’.

“There was a relief to hole my putt and then I ended up throwing the ball and my hat.

“That wasn’t planned. It was a bit more emotional than I would have expected.”

Pepperell’s form going into the event had not suggested something special was about to happen.

In four events in 2018 he had reached the final round just once, sharing 44th place in Oman a week earlier.

But a decision taken before the tournament reaped instant rewards.

It meant while the finish was tense, the previous 71 holes had been the complete opposite.

Pepperell said: “I had a real nice sense of calm the whole week.

“In spite of working on new stuff with a new coach every single swing was responding to my mentality.

“If I hit a shot out of slight fear then the result was what I would have expected. If I hit a shot out of pure commitment then it was perfect.

“It was a great feeling to have for four days.”

His new coach is Simon Shanks, who has a great name for a golfer, as does his assistant at Bowood in Wiltshire, Matt Hacking.

With the focus less on the intricate details of his swing and more on the way he moves, the timing was perfect – in every sense.

Pepperell said: “I have been good enough to win before.

“What I haven’t had is a swing thought or feeling that I have found easy enough to trust under pressure.

“Last week I did because it was much more to do with my body and my hips.

“That was the big shift – any pressure on any tee shot I just trusted the feeling and the better I did it the better I hit it.

“That’s huge moving forward.”

After such a highlight, there may have been a temptation to ride the wave and head straight to events in South Africa or India.

But after six years on tour, Pepperell knows it is all about the long game.

The next time he tees it up competitively will be on April 12 at the Spanish Open, by which point the batteries will be recharged and ready to attack the summer.

He said: “The break gives me time to work with my new coach.

“In theory I can get even better at the things I did well last week so by the next time I play I should be in an even better spot.

“I remember back to when I was a junior and an amateur and I did have a couple of wins in quick succession a couple of times.

“It happens, you win once and you get that feeling so you win again.

“At the same time, my game needs to be in a certain spot, it’s not easy to get in contention first and foremost.

“But come Saturday some day when you’re at the top of the leaderboard, it will be a massive thing.”