Wednesday, 08 May 2019
Eddie Pepperell  (Getty Images)
Eddie Pepperell (Getty Images)

Eddie Pepperell is delighted to be back on home soil as he makes his first European Tour title defence at the Betfred British Masters.

The 2019 Race to Dubai is making its first stop on European soil at Hillside Golf Club this week and Pepperell is looking to keep hold of the trophy he won at Walton Heath in October.

Pepperell won the 2012 ALLIANZ Open Côtes d’Armor Bretagne on the European Challenge Tour in 2012 but could not defend that title after graduating to the European Tour, and was also unable to defend his Commercial Bank Qatar Masters crown earlier in the year.

The 28-year-old's last European Tour appearance was his Masters Tournament debut and he is delighted to be breaking new ground again this week, although he is hopeful he can keep his focus on his game.

"There's no real change," he said. "I'm curious to see how I feel tomorrow. I'm expecting to feel quite relaxed but I might not.

"It certainly felt a bit strange coming back this week having not been in Europe for ages and just being in a completely different environment and getting used to that, when you come back here, it just feels quite strange. 

"There may be a bit of getting used to that tomorrow but I feel quite relaxed and I try to always focus very hard on my game, so that's occupying my mind.

"I love Europe, and Europe as a continent, all the places we travel to. It was just nice to come home and eat proper veg and proper meat and just the things that we have over here."

Pepperell is yet to have a top ten in this season's Race to Dubai but he does not feel he is a long way from European Tour win number three.

"It feels pretty close in practice,” he said. "It certainly feels closer than it did on the Wednesday of the British Masters last year. That was terrible that day.

I love Europe, and Europe as a continent, all the places we travel to. It was just nice to come home - Eddie Pepperell

"The way things can change I never like to feel too confident on a Wednesday because it doesn’t last. I know there’s a bit of weakness at the moment in there somewhere.

"But I feel like around this course with the conditions, I can skirt my way around that and manage to shoot four good scores.

"This week I’m quietly confident, I guess you could say, but I don’t feel like I’ve played well at all this year. I haven’t swung the club as well as I have last year and the year before that.

"So to have done what I’ve been able to do so far over the span of a year, I’ve made the most of it, and that’s a positive."

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