Eddie Pepperell may not be a household name for casual golf fans, but his solid play in big-time events coupled with his candor online are endearing him to more and more golf fans with each passing week.
Pepperell has been on the professional golf scene since turning pro in 2011, but he gained viral notoriety last summer at the Open Championship. Eight shots back of the 54-hole lead at Carnoustie, Pepperell was frustrated with where his play had left him and allowed himself a bit of stress relief on Saturday night by enjoying a few glasses of wine.
On Sunday, he went out early and posted a 4-under par 67 to set the clubhouse mark at 5-under par. Of course, Francesco Molinari made that number obsolete, but the way he stormed up the board was overshadowed by an interview he gave in the post-round in which he admitted to having drunk too much the night before.
“Honestly, I was a little hungover. I won’t lie. I had too much to drink last night,” Pepperell said. “I was so frustrated yesterday that today was really, I wouldn’t say a write-off, but I didn’t feel I was in the golf tournament. Whether I shot 69 or 73 today, it wouldn’t have been heartbreaking. As it happens, I shot 67. It’s a funny game.”
— Golf Channel (@GolfChannel) July 22, 2018
That candor and honesty made him more than a few fans last summer and his stellar play and honest critiques are only growing those ranks. Similar to last year’s Open, Pepperell made a Sunday charge at The Players Championship on Sunday, but it wasn’t a few glasses of wine that made his Sunday 6-under par 66, which moved him into a tie for third place, unlikely.
As he wrote in a blog post on Monday, his game was so lost earlier in the week at TPC Sawgrass that he broke a club over his bag and walked off the course out of frustration.
“I hadn’t snapped a club all year until the Tuesday of Sawgrass during a practice round,” Pepperell wrote. “I was hitting a 5-iron into the 7th hole and after hitting what was ironically one of my better shots that day, though still not good, I smashed the club into my bag, bending it severely, and then proceeded to throw it Rory McIlroy style into the lake for the alligators to feast on.
Rory McIlroy goes full "no chill" on his golf club pic.twitter.com/fYKPZVBiJ4
— Dirty Sports (@TheDirtySports) March 7, 2015
“It was an act of petulance, borne out of frustration. I walked in after my third shot into the par five 9th, waving goodbye to Alex Noren from a distance who I was playing with. I went straight back to my hotel room for a nap.”
Five days later, Pepperell made one of the more iconic putts of the championship and finished in the top-3, which earned him $725,000.
As he said last year at the Open, “it’s a funny game.”