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Pep talk from partner inspires Eddie to opening 66

Pep talk from partner inspires Eddie to opening 66


Eddie Pepperell revealed some words of wisdom from his partner Jen were behind his decision not to play a practice round ahead of the opening day of the 2022 Dutch Open.

The strategy paid off as the Englishman shot a 66 at Bernardus Golf on Thursday to finish day one in a share of second place, just one shot behind home favourite Joost Luiten.

Starting at the tenth tee, Pepperell opened his round with a birdie after sending his approach to six feet and rolling in the putt.

Pepperell picked up another shot at the 12th before getting to three under courtesy of a lengthy birdie putt on the short 17th.

He closed his front nine with a bogey on the 18th but bounced back with a birdie at the first before rolling in a monster putt on the fourth green for another gain.

After notching a birdie from around 20 feet at the seventh, he made it back-to-back gains with a slow 13-footer on the eighth.

A close-range par on the ninth saw Pepperell finish the day on six under and he explained his decision not to play a practice round.

He said: “Last year I was trying hard, I was turning up to tournaments early, working a lot harder than I historically did and I was getting home knackered.

"And (Pepperell's partner) Jen was like 'What are you doing? You used to play Majors blind, when you were doing well you wouldn’t bother with practice rounds', and I think she has got a point.

“For me, I always focused on energy levels, short game, trying to at least feel comfortable with where my game is actually at.

"I could play my home golf course and swinging it the way I have been over the last couple of years, not make a cut out here, so the truth is you have got to have your skill set and I am just prioritising that and I think things are moving in the right direction."

Rasmus Højgaard was the other player in joint-second on six under.

The talented Dane picked up his first birdie of the day on the par-five 12th - his third hole - and then successive threes on the 15th and 16th took him to three under.

His most decisive move of the round came on the 18th where he hit his tee-shot 328 yards before his second left him an eagle putt of just under five feet which he made to move to five under.

Further birdies on the second and fifth followed but dropped shots on the sixth and eighth looked to have derailed his challenge.

But Højgaard bounced back on the ninth, where his sixth birdie of the day saw him join Pepperell on six under.

Højgaard was pleased with his round.

He said: "I thought I played well today, especially my front nine, I didn’t make many mistakes, rolled in a few long putts.

"I played decent on the last nine holes as well, just made a few mistakes that cost a couple of bogeys but to finish with a birdie was nice."

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