First Europe tour victory

ENGLAND’S Eddie Pepperell held off compatriot Oliver Fisher to claim his first European Tour title at the Qatar Masters yesterday.

The pair entered the final day at the top of the leaderboard and while Pepperell carded two-under par 70 to finish 18-under overall, his playing partner recovered from three bogeys on the front-nine to finish just one shot behind.

Fisher could have forced a play-off at Doha Golf Club but missed a birdie putt from 10 feet on the 18th.

“What a day,” the 27-year-old Pepperell said. “Oli made it really tough and I made it tough for myself at the end there with the second shot at 18.

“I felt good all day, I felt comfortable. I didn’t feel that comfortable with my swing but I was in a great place mentally and I kept telling myself that I’m going to win this.

“This will give me confidence… You’ve always got to take that step and that’s uneasy but at some point in everyone’s career they’ve got to do something for the first time. Hopefully this is not my last.”

It was Fisher’s first top-three finish since the 2014 Africa Open and he will have to wait a little longer to add to his 2011 Czech Open title.

Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult took third place after finishing at 16-under with 68 in the final round, one stroke ahead of Spanish duo Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Pablo Larrazabal, Frenchman Gregory Havret and Italian Renato Paratore.

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