A closing birdie edged Eddie Pepperell (9/2 – Betfred British Masters Outright) ahead after a thrilling third round of the Betfred British Masters.
The Englishman, aiming to win this tournament for the second time after taking his chance at Walton Heath in 2018, carded a four-under 68 on Friday to move to 10-under going into Saturday’s final round.
Pepperell followed up opening scores of 70 and 68 on Wednesday and Thursday with five birdies and a single bogey on Friday to claim a one-shot overnight lead at the top of a congested leaderboard at The Belfry.
The shot he picked up at the last courtesy of a 40-foot putt allowed him to burst out of the pack, with a group of six players, including Edoardo Molinari (12/1 – Betfred British Masters Outright) and overnight co-leader Robert MacIntyre (4/1), tied for second on nine-under.
After a tough start to the season, which saw him miss his first two cuts, the 30-year-old found his game over the Canary Islands Swing, gradually improving to finish T12 at last week’s Canary Islands Championship.
Despite his solid play in Warwickshire, the three-time European Tour winner admits he has found playing hard in recent months. However, with him back in contention, Pepperell is confident that by echoing the approach that has worked for him in the past, he can take his chance on Saturday.
“I feel good, I feel really calm, I’m quite enjoying generally hitting better shots,” he told the European Tour website. “I’m having a good time out on the course but I’m very much still in the process.
“I recall 2018 was a lot like that for me and I think that’s part of the reason I did have some success.
“Every round was a very process driven round and I know it can sound cliche sometimes but just being in your own mind on every shot, trying to accomplish what you’re trying to accomplish, whether it’s a shot or a putt, I think that goes a long way and that’s going to be the big key for me tomorrow.”