May 15th, 2021
Pepperell leads Betfred British Masters
Englishman in the hunt for his second British Masters title
Photography: Getty Images
The Englishman, who won this title in 2018 at Walton Heath, carded a four-under-par round of 68 on the Brabazon Course to sign for a ten under par total, one stroke ahead of a packed leaderboard which includes six players in a share of second place.
“It was pretty quick, downhill, left to right (the birdie putt on the last). I had a great feel from long range today and I trusted that. It was one of those putts. I holed a great one on 14," said Pepperell.
"I've been using a device for my putting called a Capto, which has been really about acceleration in the stroke. I use it a lot from 40 ft, so what I've done well today, and indeed this week, has been about trusting the feel I get from it. I'm hoping to see it carry over a bit to mid-range, but long putts have been fantastic.”
Of those contending, Italy’s Edoardo Molinari carded the lowest round of the tournament thus far, an eight-under-par 64, to move to nine-under. He was joined on that number by compatriot Guido Migliozzi as the pair look to keep the title in Italian hands after Renato Paratore’s victory at Close House last year.
“I think I finally made some putts today. I have been hitting the ball like this for a few weeks, even a few months to be honest, but I couldn’t make a putt," said Molinari.
"But today, on the front nine I putted really well and on the back nine the putter went cold again, but to go a few under on the back nine is obviously a good score.”
Also on nine under are the Scottish duo of Calum Hill and Robert MacIntyre, and South Africa’s Dean Burmester and Adrian Meronk of Poland, who both carded seven-under-par rounds of 65.
“That’s the worst it could have been, really. I didn’t drive it my best but kept it in play for the most part of the day. I felt I struck my irons beautifully," said MacIntyre.
"Gave myself so many chances, tough back pins, I have new irons in the bag and I was trusting them completely."
Tournament host Danny Willett is just three strokes behind Pepperell after a third round of 68 which included seven birdies, recording five on his first six holes. For each birdie Willett makes this week, tournament title sponsor Betfred will donate £1,000 directly to Prostate Cancer UK, the 2016 Masters Champion’s choice of official charity, also pledging to donate £2,000 for every eagle Willett makes.
So far, the 33-year-old has raised £16,000 after 16 birdies across his first three rounds.