LONDON – England’s Eddie Pepperell survived a nervous finish and torrential rain to win the British Masters on Sunday.
Pepperell clinched his second European Tour title of the season after recording a final round of 72 at a wet and windy Walton Heath to finish on nine-under-par, two shots ahead of Sweden’s Alexander Bjork.
Australian Lucas Herbert and England’s Jordan Smith ended two shots further back, with tournament host Justin Rose carding a closing 70 to finish eighth on three-under.
The win will take Pepperell into the world’s top-35 and almost certainly secure a Masters debut in 2019, with the top 50 at the end of the year qualifying for the first major of the year at Augusta National in April.
Pepperell was ranked outside the top 500 as recently as May last year, but won the Qatar Masters in February and tied for sixth place in the British Open.
His three-shot overnight lead was down to a single stroke when playing partner Bjork covered the front nine in 34.
However, the 27-year-old holed his second shot to the 10th from 122 yards for an eagle to move three clear, and a par save from off the green on the 14th looked to have sealed the win.
There was still time for some late drama as Pepperell dropped shots on the 15th and 16th to see his lead cut to a single shot.
But Bjork bogeyed the 18th after driving into the heather, and Pepperell saved par to seal the silverware.
"It feels special" 😊
Pepperell on winning on home soil. pic.twitter.com/EHXyzmUKA8