Eddie Pepperell says he “genuinely” thinks he can win the 2019 Open Championship and will do everything he can to make this happen at Royal Portrush next week.
World number 32 Pepperell’s stock has been rising over the past couple of years and he broke his European Tour duck with victory at the 2018 Commercial Bank Qatar Masters before landing the British Masters later that year.
In between those two victories, the Englishman recorded his best finish in a Major when ending up in a share of sixth at the Open, which Francesco Molinari won to become the first Italian to win one of the ‘big four’ events.
Oxford-born star Pepperell, who recently spent a spell on the sidelines due to a back injury, has three top-five finishes to his name this year and appears to be hitting top form ahead of next week’s trip to Northern Ireland.
Royal Portrush will host the Open for the first time in 68 years and Pepperell is of the belief that he can lift the Claret Jug at some stage of his career. “I genuinely think I can win the Open,” he said.
“I feel comfortable on links courses, certainly more comfortable than I felt at Bethpage (venue for the US PGA). “If I’m playing well and going in there with some confidence I certainly feel like I could contend to win it.”
Pepperell is priced at 67.00 to win the Open while Rory McIlroy, playing on home turf, is the 9.00 favourite to win his first Major since the 2014 US PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club.
Defending champion Molinari is 23.00 to become the first person since Irishman Padraig Harrington in 2008 to win back-to-back Open titles.