European Tour

Pepperell holds on in Qatar for first European Tour win

European Tour logo (File)
European Tour logo (File)

Doha - Eddie Pepperell squeaked home by one shot to win the Qatar Masters on Sunday, holding off a late charge by fellow Englishman Oliver Fisher to secure his first European Tour trophy.

The highly-rated 27-year-old was joint overnight leader with Fisher in Doha but by the turn on Sunday, Pepperell's consistency had helped establish a three-shot lead and he looked in complete control.

He saved par at the 12th despite chipping into rocks then dropped a shot at the 15th to keep the chasing pack interested.

Pepperell held a two-shot advantage until the 17th, but a Fisher birdie on the par three set up a nerve-wracking finish.

Fisher even had a chance on the final green to force a play-off but missed his birdie putt, leaving Pepperell to win with a tap-in par.

He threw his ball and cap away in relief, finishing with a two under par 70 -- his worst score of the week -- taking the title on 18 under.

"It feels good, a relief," Pepperell said. "I am as pleased as I can be."

Despite the tense finish, Pepperell said he was not suffering from nerves on the final hole.

"I was super-confident today. I said to my friend it's an inevitability.

"I don't wish that to sound arrogant, I want it to sound confident," he said.

Long regarded as a potential star, the win pushes Pepperell into European Tour top 15.

Asked if it felt like a breakthrough victory, Pepperell said: "I feel like this is just another good performance, with a win."

Fisher finished second, one shot behind after shooting a 71, a first top three finish since 2014.

Sweden's Marcus Kinhalt finished third on 16 under par.

Despite forecasts of showers and thunderstorms, the final round was played in fine weather.

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