October 12, 2018 / 6:22 PM / 3 days ago

Pepperell powers to three-shot lead at British Masters

(Reuters) - Eddie Pepperell mastered windy conditions to set the clubhouse target on day two of the British Masters with a three-under-par 69 at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey on Friday.

Golf - European Tour - British Masters - Walton Heath Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Hill, Britain - October 12, 2018 England's Eddie Pepperell during the second round Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

The 27-year-old Englishman, who entered the second round with a share of the lead, carded five birdies and two bogeys to move eight-under overall, three shots clear of his compatriot Matt Wallace.

Golf - European Tour - British Masters - Walton Heath Golf Club, Walton-on-the-Hill, Britain - October 12, 2018 England's Eddie Pepperell during the second round Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

France’s Julien Guerrier was also five under with three holes to go when play was suspended due to darkness.

“It’s so windy and I didn’t play very well for the first 12 holes and I was still three under par,” said Pepperell, who won his maiden European Tour title this season at the Qatar Masters.

“But my putting and my short-game were fantastic, and then I actually felt like I hit it very well on the last six holes. I maybe could have been a couple better, but it was tough out there for sure and I’m obviously very happy with that score.”

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Pepperell is hoping a session on the driving range will help him feel more comfortable in testing conditions over the weekend.

“I’m in a good spot and I’m going to keep pushing,” he added.

“I’m hoping to spend a little bit of time on the range, and I’m hoping this weekend for my swing to feel a little more comfortable, and then I can play some shots and take even more to the golf course.”

England’s Tommy Fleetwood, who started the day with a share of the lead, struggled to rediscover his rhythm as he signed for a birdie-free 77 to slip eight shots off the pace.

Tournament host Justin Rose, the world number two, safely made the halfway cut with a 72 to sit on two-over alongside his Ryder Cup team mate Francesco Molinari, the leader of the European Tour’s Race to Dubai.

Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond

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