Friday, October 26, 2018

Golf Has Been Crying Out For an Eddie Pepperell

The rise of Eddie Pepperell from the depths of the official world golf rankings is one that inspires golfers the world over. The extent to which Pepperell is able to influence novice players is slightly different than that what Dustin Johnson is able to. Standing at 5'10 and weighing 73 kgs (160 lbs.), Pepperell is by no means your physical specimen.

The most notable attribute that makes Pepperell stand out from the rest of the tour players isn’t his physical makeup, but rather his eloquence. Despite being a deep thinker and an intellectual, it’s very easy for fans to relate to what Pepperell is saying given how transparent and honest he is when a mic is in front of him. It makes a welcome change to the robotic answers we have grown to expect from most of the tour pros.

HowDidiDo via Twitter

That’s why when Pepperell wins, it’s a win for golf as a sport as this is an individual who is likely to attract a host of new fans and sponsors, even if he doesn't have one himself just yet. Yes, that's right: Eddie Pepperell doesn’t have a hat sponsor. When you consider that a simple name on a cap can earn a tour player millions of pounds every year, it does seem mind boggling that he has chosen not to have one, but that’s Eddie Pepperell: different in every way.

The sponsors admittedly weren’t lining up to have their brand featured on Pepperell's head last year and as recently as May 2017, the young Englishman was outside the top 500 golfers in the world. Languishing in the doldrums of professional golf, Pepperell’s career was at a crossroads after he lost his tour card in agonising fashion in Portugal at the end of 2016 only to win it back at Q-School a couple of weeks later. Despite earning back his playing privileges it was turning out to be another season where progress just wasn’t forthcoming.

A top ten in June 2017 at the Nordea Masters was followed by a tie for 16th at the US Open, which kick-started something within the 27-year-old. Pepperell would claim his maiden win on tour after 129 starts in February 2018 as he won the Qatar Masters. More success was to follow with a second-place finish at the Scottish Open and sixth at the Open.

It was just last week that Pepperell won the British Masters, which illustrates yet again what a startling turnaround it has been from the depths of despair he found himself in during 2016 and half of 2017. Winning doesn’t seem to be a once off and Pepperell is proving his success isn't a flash in the pan.

So, what next – a major? Before anyone spits out their tea, you only have to look at Pepperell’s rise and performance at majors to think he has a good chance of winning one. The odds may not suggest it, with's listed odds for the 2019 Open Championship having Pepperell at 125/1 to win, but you shouldn't forget this is a man who finished sixth at the Open this year and did so whilst feeling the effects of a heavy night the evening prior.

The Englishman admitted to feeling hopeless the night before the final round at Carnoustie so he and his swing coach enjoyed a few too many glasses of wine. In his post-round interview Pepperell came clean and admitted he was hungover

TeamFA via Twitter
Golf now has a champion we can all get behind and root for. There’s no flashy Instagram feeds, self-praise or regurgitated answers when it comes to Eddie Louis Pepperell. What you see is very much what you get and that is something golf has been crying out for.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Three Players Who May Win Their Opening Major in 2019

The 2018/19 golf season is up and running and although there is some big prize money and early FedEx Cup points up for grabs this month, many of the top players give themselves a few extra weeks off as they plan their schedule to peak around the Major Championships. The four big tournaments are the ones every golfer dreams of winning. Here are three players who could break their maiden in 2019 as they look to be improving all the time.

Tommy Fleetwood

Over the last two years, Tommy Fleetwood has made an almighty rise up the world rankings and has now established himself as one of the leading players either side of the pond. The 27-year-old played an integral role in helping Europe win back the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National last month and with his confidence being sky high at the moment, it would be no surprise to see the Englishman win a Major next year.

The Golf Shop via Twitter
Fleetwood had his highest place finish in a Major in 2018 as he finished second in the US Open. That is a tournament the man from England clearly enjoys as he was also fourth in 2017. Fleetwood can be backed at 33/1 in the golf betting to go one better next year by winning the second Major on the golf calendar.

Rickie Fowler

It is a surprise to everyone in golf that Rickie Fowler has still yet to win a Major. The American now has nine top-10 finishes in the big four events. In 2014 Fowler finished inside the top five of the US Masters, US Open, Open Championship and US PGA Championship. Unfortunately, 2018 wasn’t Fowler’s best season of his career as he failed to record a single victory, however, he once again played well at Augusta as he was second behind Patrick Reed.

Fowler has the game to win any tournament he enters. If he continues to play well in the big events, he will land his maiden Major and that may come in April where he is 16/1 to land the Green Jacket at the US Masters.

Jon Rahm

Like Fleetwood, Spaniard Jon Rahm played his role in helping Europe beat USA in Paris. Rahm won his singles match against Tiger Woods on the Sunday, an indication of how fearless the 23-year-old is. Earlier this year, the Arizona State graduate rose up to as high as number two in the world rankings following his success in the CareerBuilder Challenge. Later in the season, Rahm scored in his home country when he appeared on the European Tour in the Open de Espana.

For The Win via Twitter

In 2018 Rahm started the Major Championships with a fourth-place finish in the Us Masters. Augusta looked to be a course which suited the European golfer as he is a big hitter off the tee, therefore, he took advantage of the par-5 holes at the course in Georgia. Rahm also recorded a tie for fourth place in the US PGA Championship which was won by Brooks Koepka.

The opening Major of 2019 begins on the 11th of April at Augusta when the world’s leading players tee off in the US Masters.