CARNOUSTIE, Scotland (Reuters) - Beware of the hungover golfer.
After over-indulging on Saturday night, Eddie Pepperell charged up the leaderboard with a four-under-par 67 in the final round at the British Open on Sunday.
The Englishman’s stellar performance in strong winds looked for a while though it might be just enough to get into a playoff as the leaders battled the tough conditions.
Indeed, Pepperell remained on-site for a couple of hours until his 72-hole score had been bettered, before heading to his car for the long drive back down south of the border.
He was delighted after teeing off with zero expectations following a poor 71 in perfect conditions on Saturday.
“I was a little hungover. I won’t lie. I had too much to drink last night,” said Pepperell, who tied for sixth at five-under 279.
“(Drank) some wine with my coach. We just drowned our sorrows for a half hour and had a good chat with a few people.
“I was so frustrated yesterday that today ... I didn’t feel I was in the golf tournament. As it happens I shot 67. It’s a funny game.”
He defended what some might consider an undisciplined approach to a major championship.
“I like to socialise in the evening if I can and it certainly takes some of the pressure and the sting away from competition golf at this level, because it’s very stressful,” he said.
Pepperell did not even bother with a practice round.
“I’m a caddie’s dream because I don’t play practice rounds very often,” the 27-year-old said.
“I didn’t want to be here on Monday because I wasn’t feeling very well. I’ve played Carnoustie heaps of times.”
World number 72 Pepperell is an irreverent tweeter, and he took to the social media site to criticise Phil Mickelson after the American deliberately hit a moving ball to stop it from rolling off a green during the U.S. Open last month.
Pepperell described Mickelson’s action as “unethical”.
Needless to say, Pepperell did not raise the subject when paired with Mickelson on Sunday.
Mickelson was impressed with what he saw.
“I thought that he played a great round,” said the five-times major champion.
Reporting by Andrew Both; Editing by Toby Davis and Ed Osmond