Eddie Pepperell maintains lead in Round 3 of British Masters


Eddie Pepperell is never satisfied after a round of golf, but at least he didn’t fail in the third round of the $4 million Sky Sports British Masters at Walton Heath. 

The 27-year-old Englishman found himself in a unique position heading into the third round. 

“New position for me: first time I’ve ever gone out there with a three-shot lead on a Saturday, so to have maintained it I would say is not a failure,” Pepperell said. “I don’t know when I’ll ever feel satisfied but it’s certainly not a failure.”

A 1-under-par 71 in breezy conditions certainly isn’t a failure, especially since it maintained his three-shot lead heading into the final round. Pepperell moved to 9-under. Countryman Jordan Smith, France’s Julien Guerrier, Julian Suri of the United States and Sweden’s Alexander Bjork are T-2 at 6 under.

Pepperell is chasing his second European Tour victory, and second of the season, following the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters.

“I’m confident that I can go out there tomorrow and shoot 3, 4-under par, and make everyone else’s life very difficult.

“When you lead any golf tournament, it’s pretty special. I remember feeling really comfortable with the lead (in Qatar). You know, I’ve felt comfortable today. I didn’t see any shots that frightened me, and committed to a lot of good tee shots.” 

The erudite Englishman won the Qatar event in February. He’s had five top 10s since then, including two second-place finishes in the Scottish Open and Portugal Masters. No wonder he’s itching to get his hands on another trophy.

“It’s about time I kicked on and won another event, I would say.”

Smith, Suri and Bjork are chasing their second European Tour wins, while 2006 British Amateur Champion Guerrier is chasing his first.

Tournament host Justin Rose returned a 3-under 69 to move 22 places up the leader to joint 19th at 1 under.

Reigning European No. 1 Tommy Fleetwood shot a 2-under 70 and is in joint 12th place at 2 under. Ryder Cup partner Francesco Molinari, currently topping the European money list, had his first under par score of the week with a 71. He’s tied for 34th place on 1 over.

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