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GOLF: Pepperell in Euro mission
A place on the European Tour is at stake for Eddie Pepperell over the next four days, and Oxfordshire’s top player is hoping the pressure brings out his best golf.
The top 45 players on the Challenge Tour tee off today in the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final in southern Italy.
When the dust settles on Sunday night, the top 21 players on the money list will earn a card to join the elite European Tour for 2013.
Pepperell goes into the tournament in 18th position, so needs a good finish to make sure of earning a promotion for next season.
The 21-year-old, from Abingdon, did not play in the penultimate tournament last weekend to make sure he was fresh for the trip to Italy.
And the Frilford Heath golfer believes the high stakes on offer will help inspire him.
He said: “Generally this year I’ve played my best when I’ve had pressure on me.
“I tend to struggle in the first round of tournaments because I find it difficult to get up for it.
“When there’s something on the line, like making the cut or finishing strongly in the final round, I tend to find I play my best golf.
“I know I can handle the pressure and I want to dig deep this week.”
Normally only the top 20 receive cards, but this season the player in 21st position will qualify.
Sweden’s Magnus A Carlsson sits fourth in the Challenge Tour, but has earned enough in European Tour events to secure his place already.
It could prove the difference for Pepperell, who is delighted to be in the frame at the end of his first full season on the circuit.
He said: “I think if someone had said to me at the start of the year that I would be in the top 20 going into the Grand Final I would have definitely taken it.
“I’m pretty pleased I’ve given myself a good opportunity to get a European Tour card and that’s all I can do.”
THE BB&O Golf Partnerships Champion of Champions – the culmination of the six junior competitions held throughout the summer – takes place at Studley Wood on Monday, October 29.