Eddie Pepperell: Battling nerves and rabbit holes at European Tour Q School

Eddie Pepperell
Eddie Pepperell secured his European Tour card for 2017 with a final round 71 in Catalunya

Eddie Pepperell survived slipping down a rabbit hole and "coming off second best in an accident with his club" to secure his European Tour card for 2017.

The Oxfordshire golfer, 25, shot six under-par rounds at Qualifying School in Catalunya, finishing fifth overall.

"My swing and my game got into some pretty awful habits this year," Pepperell told BBC Radio Oxford.

"I'll be keen to make sure that doesn't happen again and I can come out of this experience a better player."

Pepperell's frustrating 2016 on the European Tour saw him finish 113th on the Race to Dubai rankings, compared to his 49th position the previous two seasons.

After missing the cut in his final event of the year at the Portugal Masters, the scramble to finish in the top 25 at Qualifying School followed.

An already nerve-wracking week then became more painful when his right ankle swelled and became infected after an on-course accident with a rabbit hole.

"I fell down a hole and had a bit of an accident with my club in the process," Pepperell joked. "My ankle came off a little bit worse for wear.

"Thankfully the physio did a good job bandaging it up and we battled through the pain."

Eddie Pepperell's swolen ankle at qualifying school
Eddie Pepperell battled nerves and an unfortunate ankle injury during Qualifying School

Pepperell, who finished tied 49th at The Open in 2015 at St Andrews, hopes to kick on from testing experience of Qualifying School.

"Some golfers need to have failures sometimes," he added. "For what's happened to me this year, to come out and be a better player and learn some lessons from it, will hopefully further my career."

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