Oct 12th, 2018
Eddie 'Crazy Ace' Pepperell leads at British Masters
Walton Heath didn't know what hit it..
Eddie Pepperell, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Wallace shared the overnight lead at the Sky Sports British Masters at Walton Heath Golf Club.
These three have five wins between them this season and fired rounds of 67 to get to -5 and lead the way from countryman Richard McEvoy, Swede Joakim Lagergren, American David Lipsky, France's Mike Lorenzo-Vera and another Frenchman in Alexander Levy, who had to complete the last on Friday after play was suspended due to darkness.
Wallace has three of those wins and is playing in his 50th European Tour event this week, while Fleetwood is the reigning Race to Dubai champion and successfully defended his Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA title at the start of the year.
Pepperell got his first win at the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters in February and produced the highlight of the day on Thursday with his first European Tour hole-in-one – and it was quite mad.
Wallace eagled the 11th and a birdie from ten feet on the 15th got him within one of early leader Jordan Smith but a roller coaster was to follow.
He dropped a shot on the 16th but hit an excellent tee-shot into the par three next before three-putting the first. A brilliant second into the par five second with a driver set up a birdie and a 20-foot putt on the third put him into the solo lead at four under.
Pepperell started with six pars but birded the seventh and then hit the craziest hole-in-one at the ninth.
His tee-shot came in shallow and pitched into the base of pin, jumped up five feet in the air, landing a foot from the cup before hopping straight into the hole. It was the European Tour's 33rd ace of the season but none were as spectacular as this.
“It was obviously bizarre,” he said. “From where I was standing it looked like it pitched in the hole, jumped up, looked like it was going long because of the height it came out, and then from there just went in. Very nice.”