Eddie Pepperell defies the wind and rain to take British Masters

Pepperell finishes two strokes clear of Sweden’s Alexander Bjork at Walton Heath

Eddie Pepperell with the trophy after his British Masters victory. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA

Eddie Pepperell with the trophy after his British Masters victory. Photograph: Steven Paston/PA

 

Eddie Pepperell defied miserable conditions to win his second European Tour title of the season in the British Masters — and with it a different Masters appearance next April.

Pepperell carded a closing 72 at a wet and windy Walton Heath to complete a wire-to-wire victory on nine under par, two shots ahead of playing partner Alexander Bjork from Sweden.

Australian Lucas Herbert and England’s Jordan Smith finished two shots further back, with tournament host Justin Rose carding a closing 70 to finish eighth on three under.

Pádraig Harrington was the pick of the Irish, with a closing 70 leaving him level par for the tournament and in a share of 22nd place. Shane Lowry finished on two over par after a 72 while Paul Dunne’s title defence ended with a 74 - leaving him on three over and tied for 42nd.

The win will take Pepperell into the world’s top 35 and almost certainly secure a Masters debut in 2019, with the top 50 at the end of the year qualifying for the first major of the year at Augusta National in April.

Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and followed a runners-up finish in the Scottish Open with a tie for sixth in the Open seven days later, carding a closing 67 at Carnoustie despite being hungover.

His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke when playing partner Bjork covered the front nine in 34 and Pepperell three-putted the ninth, the same hole where he enjoyed a spectacular hole-in-one on Thursday.

However, the 27-year-old from Oxfordshire promptly holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.

There was still time for some late drama though as Pepperell dropped shots on the 15th and 16th to see his lead cut to a single shot, but Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather and Pepperell saved par from a greenside bunker to secure a deserved victory.

Collated final round scores in the Sky Sports British Masters, Walton Heath GC, England (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

279 Eddie Pepperell 67 69 71 72
281 Alexander Bjork (Swe) 69 73 68 71
283 Lucas Herbert (Aus) 72 75 67 69, Jordan Smith 71 69 70 73
284 Julian Suri (USA) 70 71 69 74, Tom Lewis 70 73 71 70, Sam Horsfield 71 70 74 69
285 Justin Rose 74 72 69 70
286 Lucas Bjerregaard (Den) 74 67 72 73, Haotong Li (Chn) 73 74 69 70, Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 76 70 72 68, Andrew Sullivan 69 72 73 72, Tommy Fleetwood 67 77 70 72, Gavin Green (Mal) 69 78 68 71, Oliver Farr 73 73 71 69
287 Steven Brown 69 73 72 73, Matt Wallace 67 72 73 75, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 73 72 67 75, Clement Sordet (Fra) 69 77 70 71, Matthew Fitzpatrick 69 73 71 74, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 74 72 71 70
288 Matteo Manassero (Ita) 72 72 76 68, Julien Guerrier (Fra) 70 70 70 78, Matthew Southgate 69 76 76 67, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 71 74 70 73, Gregory Havret (Fra) 75 70 70 73, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 70 74 72 72, Padraig Harrington 73 74 71 70
289 Robert Rock 72 74 73 70, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 69 75 70 75, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 68 78 71 72, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 72 71 71 75, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 73 73 72 71
290 Ross Fisher 69 72 74 75, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 69 73 73 75, Adrien Saddier (Fra) 73 73 67 77, Marc Warren 74 73 71 72, Trevor Immelman (Rsa) 69 73 71 77, Shane Lowry 75 71 72 72, David Lipsky (USA) 68 78 73 71, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 74 73 75 68
291 Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 73 74 74 70, Marcel Siem (Ger) 72 73 71 75, Paul Dunne 70 73 74 74, Austin Connelly (Can) 73 73 69 76, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 72 72 71 76, Alexander Levy (Fra) 67 78 72 74
292 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 71 74 71 76, Andrew Johnston 72 72 73 75, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 79 73 72, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 70 74 76 72, Lee Slattery 70 74 72 76, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 74 72 74 72, Chris Hanson 75 69 73 75, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 72 74 76 70
293 Francesco Molinari (Ita) 73 73 75 72, Richie Ramsay 74 72 72 75, Romain Wattel (Fra) 73 73 74 73, Paul Waring 70 77 73 73, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 77 70 76 70, Aaron Rai 73 74 72 74, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 70 77 74 72
294 David Drysdale 69 73 80 72, Andrew Dodt (Aus) 73 73 76 72, Carlos Pigem (Spa) 71 72 76 75, Scott Jamieson 73 72 72 77
295 Zander Lombard (Rsa) 72 72 75 76
296 Brett Rumford (Aus) 71 75 76 74, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 75 72 74 75
297 Stephen Gallacher 72 73 77 75
299 James Morrison 72 71 77 79
301 Richard McEvoy 68 77 78 78

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