Eddie Pepperell earns 1st European Tour win at Qatar Masters

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Eddie Pepperell earns 1st European Tour win at Qatar Masters

Euro Tour

Eddie Pepperell earns 1st European Tour win at Qatar Masters

Eddie Pepperell’s blogs and tweets should become a lot more interesting now that he’s a European Tour winner.

The Englishman claimed his maiden European Tour victory in the $1.75 million Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. It’s a remarkable turnaround for a player who lost his European Tour card after the 2016 season.

The 27-year-old began the final round tied for the lead with countryman Oliver Fisher but soon pulled clear by playing the front nine in 1 under while Fisher faltered. Fisher rallied on the back to shoot 71 but came up one shot short.

Pepperell held a three-shot lead after nine holes, and went on to shoot a 2-under 70 for an 18-under winning total of 270.

“What a day,” Pepperell said. “Oli made it really tough and I made it tough for myself at the end.

“I felt good all day, I felt comfortable. I didn’t feel that comfortable with my swing, bit I was in a great place mentally. I kept telling myself that I’m going to win this.

“This will give me confidence. When you win, you know you can win. I’ve always felt and believed I will win out here, but it hadn’t happened before today. You’ve always got to take that step and that’s uneasy, but at some point in everyone’s career they’ve got to do something for the first time. Hopefully this is not my last.”

Pepperell is one of the most erudite players on the European Tour. He goes deep on his feelings about trying to master a small white ball while playing amongst Europe’s elite. For example, when he lost his card in 2016, he wrote that he’d learned he didn’t love golf the way he once did.

The Englishman bounced back from 2016 by becoming one of only three European Tour qualifying school graduates to keep his card last year. He went from 113th on the money list in 2016 to 41st.

Victory takes him to 13th on the money list and in line for his best season in six years as a professional. Cue blogs and tweets about the pressures of trying to live up to his new tag as European Tour winner.

Fisher was looking for his second European Tour victory following the 2011 Czech Open. Fisher came through the same Nick Faldo elite squad as Rory McIlroy. While McIlroy has won four majors, Fisher hasn’t lived up to expectations. At 29, he still has time on his side. However, one win isn’t what was expected when he turned pro after playing in the 2005 Walker Cup at age 16, setting a record as the youngest competitor in the biennial match.

Former USC player Sean Crocker began the final round two shots off the lead but returned a 76 to finish T-28.

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