Eddie Pepperell made a bizarre hole-in-one to get to the top of the leaderboard Thursday at the $4 million Sky Sports British Masters at Walton Heath.
Pepperell was 1 under when he stepped onto the tee at the 222-yard, par-3 ninth hole. Seconds later, he was 3 under. The Englishman’s ball found the hole on the fly, bounced out and then spun back into the hole.
The 27-year-old Pepperell waited nearly six years for his first European Tour hole-in-one, and then made “two” on the same shot. (Now that takes talent!)
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) October 11, 2018
Pepperell got to 6 under when he eagled the par-5 11th hole to play a five-hole stretch from the seventh in 6 under. But bogeys at Nos. 13 and 15 knocked him back. A birdie at the 18th helped him into a three-way tie for the lead with Matt Wallace and Ryder Cup hero Tommy Fleetwood.
Wallace might also have the lead on his own if not for a dropped shot at his final hole. The Englishman is looking for his fourth win of the season.
“Pretty good, but a little bit shaky in areas,” Wallace said. “I missed a few short putts which wasn’t nice. Bogey at the end there was just bad course management really. The rest was really good. I gave myself a lot of chances, but room for improvement.”
Fleetwood is another who might have ended the day as solo leader if not for a bogey at the par-3 17th hole. It was his only dropped shot of the round. The Englishman is hoping to go one better than last week’s second-place finish in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.
The 27-year-old Fleetwood is looking for his second victory of the season to follow the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship in January. He’s also trying to make up ground on money leader and Ryder Cup partner Francesco Molinari in the Race to Dubai.
Fleetwood won last year’s money list but trails Molinari by just over 1.4 million points. He has the edge after 18 holes: Molinari shot a 1-over 73.
Tournament host Justin Rose returned a 2-over 74.