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Welsh success ends Pepperell's long wait for victory
24th May 2010

Eddie Pepperell (Photo Tom Ward)

Eddie Pepperell bridged a five-year gap when he won the Welsh Open Stroke Play Championship at Royal St David's, Harlech.

It was his first major individual victory since 2005 and the 19 year old carded a closing round of 66 for 267, nine under par, finishing a stroke ahead of fellow England international Tom Lewis, who ended with 65.

Ironically, the pair were finalists in last year's British Boys Championship when Lewis came out on top. But this time Pepperell (picture © Tom Ward) took the honours after starting the final round tied second, a position he had come all too familiar with.

Since winning the Reid Trophy, the English Boys Under 14 Championship, in 2005 Pepperell has filed a string of second places including the McGregor Trophy, Hampshire Hog, Bernard Darwin Salver and last year's British Boys having been a semi-finalist in 2007. He has also reached the quarter finals and semi-finals of the Spanish Amateur and last eight of the English Amateur but that key victory has frequently been out of reach - until this weekend.

"This win means a lot," he said. "It shows that all the hard work I put in over the winter is paying off. I was disappointed to get only one point from four in the international with France but I hadn't had any match play practice. I'd been targeting the stroke play events."

After opening with round of 66 and 64 to be eight under and one off the lead at halfway held by Scotland's Greg Paterson. Paired with Paterson for the final two rounds, Pepperell found himself on 201; six adrift of the Scot going into the final circuit but there was much drama left.

"Despite being so far behind, I knew that if I stayed patient and concentrated on my own game something might happen and it did," added Pepperell.

Paterson began poorly and gradually saw his lead diminish as he finished with 76 for third place. It was Lewis who took up the challenge and his closing 65 could have paid off.

But Pepperell stayed cool and his 66 kept him a shot in front to not only claim his first win in five years but to finish ahead of close pal Lewis after trailing him so often.

Other English players claimed high finishes with Mark Young taking fourth,  Dave Coupland fifth, while his Lincolnshire colleague Adam Keogh was tied seventh along with Alex Christie from Surrey and Somerset's Laurie Canter, the South African Amateur Champion.

Leading final scores:
267 E Pepperell ( Drayton Park ) 66 64 71 66
268 T Lewis ( Welwyn Garden City ) 66 70 67 65
271 G Paterson (New Club St Andrews) 63 66 66 76
273 M Young ( Longridge ) 67 64 70 72
275 D Coupland ( Boston ) 65 69 72 69
276 A Hartoe (Denmark) 68 71 68 69 

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