New Straits Times

Tin Cup moment as Pepperell runs out of balls!


ANTALYA (TURKEY): Around about the time he was due to complete his third round in the Turkish Airlines Open yesterday, Eddie Pepperell was back at his hotel, sheepishly nursing a glass of wine.

What happened to Pepperell that led to him being disqualifi­ed halfway through his decidedly fateful 13th hole will go down in the annals.

Ever heard the one about the top-class pro who quit because he ran out of golf balls? It almost happened to Kevin Costner’s character in the Hollywood blockbuste­r, Tin Cup.

It did happen last July to thelittle-known Frenchman Clement Berado, but that was in an obscure Challenge Tour event.

Pepperell was not having a good day when he arrived at the par-five fourth, his 13th hole. On the third, the maverick Englishman had putted out for a second successive bogey with a wedge, rather than his putter.

The second shot to the fourth requires a bold stroke over water, if the green is to be found.

On Thursday, Padraig Harrington ran up a 10 after finding the water multiple times — but at least he had enough golf balls to carry on.

“Eddie put his second shot into the water,” said Martin Kaymer, Pepperell’s playing partner. Penalty. Then his fourth shot into the water. Penalty. Then his sixth shot into the water. Penalty. Then his eighth.

“After he put his 10th into the water he walked up and said he had run out of golf balls.

“The only time I’ve ever seen anything like it was the movie Tin Cup — and now I’ve seen it live!’

Pepperell was reluctant to go into detail. “I don’t think it’s worth recording,” he said.

“I ran out of golf balls, it was literally that.”

Officially, he was disqualifi­ed for “failure to complete a hole”.

As for the event itself, Austrian Matthias Schwab will take a three-stroke lead into the final round from a chasing quintet including American Patrick Reed, Englishman Tyrrell Hatton and 23-year-old Scot Robert MacIntyre.

Justin Rose faltered badly in his bid to become the first man in nearly 20 years to win the same European Tour event three years in a row, only mustering a 73 to sit nine shots off the lead.

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