European Tour

Pepperell in control at British Masters

Eddie Pepperell (Getty Images)
Eddie Pepperell (Getty Images)

London - England's Eddie Pepperell holds a commanding three-shot lead heading into the final day of the British Masters.

Pepperell is chasing only the second European Tour title of his career and has a golden opportunity to lift the trophy after recording a third round of 71 at Walton Heath on Saturday.

He finished on nine under par, with fellow Englishman Jordan Smith, Sweden's Alexander Bjork, American Julian Suri and France's Julien Guerrier all six under.

A victory on Sunday would take Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secure a Masters debut in 2019.

The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year at Augusta National in April.

The 27-year-old began the day with a three-shot lead and was four clear when he holed from 14 feet for an eagle on the par-five 11th.

Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood is seven shots off the pace after rebounding from a 77 on Friday with a 70, while team-mate and tournament host Justin Rose is another stroke adrift following a 69.

A top-two finish on Sunday would see Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as number one in September.

"That hasn't actually been on my mind," Rose said. "It's going to be tough to get there as I've got a lot of points to defend, but I've just got to focus on playing well."

Leading third round scores in the European Tour's British Masters at Walton Heath Golf Club on Saturday (GBR/IRL unless stated; par 72):

207 - Eddie Pepperell 67 69 71

210 - Julian Suri (USA) 70 71 69, Alexander Bjork (SWE) 69 73 68, Jordan Smith 71 69 70, Julien Guerrier (FRA) 70 70 70

212 - Matt Wallace 67 72 73, Andrea Pavan (ITA) 73 72 67

213 - Lucas Bjerregaard (DEN) 74 67 72, Adrien Saddier (FRA) 73 73 67, Trevor Immelman (RSA) 69 73 71, Matthew Fitzpatrick 69 73 71

214 - Steven Brown 69 73 72, Tom Lewis 70 73 71, Lucas Herbert (AUS) 72 75 67, Andrew Sullivan 69 72 73, Tommy Fleetwood 67 77, 70, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 69 75 70, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 72 71 71

215 - Ross Fisher 69 72 74, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (ESP) 72 72 71 Robert Karlsson (SWE) 69 73 73, Sam Horsfield 71 70 74, Justin Rose 74 72 69, Austin Connelly (CAN) 73 73 69, Gavin Green (MAS) 69 78 68, Richard Sterne (RSA) 71 74 70, Gregory Havret (FRA) 75 70 70

216 - Marcus Kinhult (SWE) 71 74 71, Li Haotong (CHN) 73 74 69, Marcel Siem (GER) 72 73 71, Clement Sordet (FRA) 69 77 70, Matthias Schwab (AUT) 70 74 72, Lee Slattery 70 74 72

217 - Andrew Johnston 72 72 73, Joakim Lagergren (SWE) 68 78 71, Scott Jamieson 73 72 72, Chris Hanson 75 69 73, Paul Dunne 70 73 74, Edoardo Molinari (ITA) 74 72 71, Oliver Farr 73 73 71, Alexander Levy (FRA) 67 78 72

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