Eddie Pepperell faces the battle to save his career after losing his tour card after a fall from horror form … “ If I have another year like this, I will have a difficult decision to make, ” admits the Englishman.
- Eddie Pepperell comfortably missed the Aviv Dubai Championship
- Now he will finish outside the top 121 who keep all his touring privileges.
- Tommy Fleetwood has been given the opportunity to claim his first victory in almost two years.
One more missed cut to wrap up Eddie Pepperell’s worst season turned out to be the deepest of all on Friday. A man who seemed poised to win majors before the pandemic began is now in a battle to save his career.
“I’m wrecked, I’m stressed out and if I have another year like this, I’ll definitely have to make some challenging decisions,” said the 30-year-old from Oxford, after comfortably missing the weekend’s game. at the Aviv Dubai Championship, the final event of the European Tour regular season. “In every round I’ve played, I feel like I’ve hit my head against a brick wall.”
Pepperell will now finish outside of the top 121 who keep all his touring privileges and miss out on big money events next year.
The worst year of Eddie Pepperell’s career ended with another missed cut on Friday
“I don’t feel as scared as in 2016 when I lost my tour card,” he added. “ I came back and played the best golf of my career in 2017-18, so I know I can do it. The problem is, this could be the first time in my life that I’ve spent a whole year where I haven’t been able to figure it out and at least play good golf. Even in 2016 I had a couple of top 10s, but this year I haven’t had any and that has never happened to me at any level, be it junior, amateur or whatever. ”
Pepperell’s decline dates back to when everything changed due to Covid-19. Ironically, it was here in Dubai in February 2020 that he led the Desert Classic halfway through.
“That feels like a long time ago,” he said wistfully. ‘I don’t want to sound all’ woe to me ‘when you think about what a lot of people have dealt with during the pandemic, but when the tour stopped playing shortly after Dubai last year, I took a few months off and, although the right decision In some ways, I’ve had a hell of a time trying to regain my skills.
The 30-year-old will now finish outside of the top 121 who keep all his touring privileges.
“I’ve had so many coaches this year and now I’m back to my first, Mike Walker, for the eighth time. Clearly, there is something terribly wrong with my game. Historically, my game with iron has been my great strength, but it has been getting worse as the year progressed ”.
On the final holes, Pepperell’s season ended in contemplative thought. In the distance came the sound of the call to prayer at noon. His playmates, Tom Lewis and Scott Hend, enjoyed a joke or two. Pepperell kept to himself as realization washed over him.
It will be a while before they see him again. “I know there is a perception from me on Twitter that I don’t work on it, but I worked really hard to try and see some results,” he said. ‘Now, I need to put the sticks away for a few weeks and forget about it. When I get back, I have to be eager to meet the challenge. ‘
What would you do if you didn’t play golf? “I don’t know,” he said. “But hopefully we are not at that point yet.”
Tommy Fleetwood has been given the opportunity to claim his first victory in almost two years.
When he returns, Pepperell will recall some words of advice from an actor relative.
“I have a cousin who is an actor and he told me that you should try to put yourself in a position to surprise yourself, and he stuck with me,” he said.
“Right now I’m in this self-fulfilling downward cycle, but one day I’ll be surprised and play a little better than I expected. Once that happens, it shouldn’t take long for confidence to return and we will see a rebound. ‘
As Pepperell headed home with much to ponder, Tommy Fleetwood has been given the opportunity for his first win in nearly two years after playing his last 12 holes at seven under par for a 66 to be alongside fellow Merseysider Paul Waring, only three. punches behind the leader, Antoine Rozner of France.