'I was a little hungover – I had too much to drink last night'
Eddie Pepperell is the sort of person you would have wanted to sit next to at school. You’re always waiting for the next sarcastic comment, generally accompanied by a little smirk. More often than not he can’t help himself.
Having played with Phil Mickelson, and shot a 67 to finish on 5 under, he hit the jackpot just one question into his post-round media chat.
“I was a little hungover. I won’t lie. I had too much to drink last night. I was so frustrated on Saturday, that today was really, I wouldn’t say a write-off, but I didn’t feel I was in the golf tournament,” he said.
“Whether I shot 69 or 73, it wouldn’t have been heartbreaking. But as it happens, I shot 67. So, you know, it’s a funny game.
“I just had some wine at the IMG house and I was there with my coach. We just drowned our sorrows for half an hour and had a good chat with a few people. It was enjoyable. I didn’t have a hangover this morning but I did wake up in the middle of the night not feeling too good. I didn’t really have that much to drink, I’m just a lightweight.”
When someone questioned whether drinking on the Saturday night of The Open was a good idea he gave the answer that all the non-gym bunnies wanted to hear.
“Well, that performance, you see,” he said, before point to his head and adding: “That’s what matters.
“Listen, I wouldn’t always have a drink the night before. Sometimes I have a few drinks.”
On the screen next to where Pepperell was chatting, Woods moved to 7 under.
“He didn’t have a drink last night, I bet. Proper athlete.”
Pepperell was only playing in his second Open courtesy of his runners-up spot at Gullane last week, he had been planning to take an extended holiday starting this week. At the Scottish Open he didn’t bother with a practice round and it was the same again at Carnoustie leaving much of the preparation down to his skilled bag man Mick Doran.
“Mick said to me coming up at the last [that] I’m a caddie’s dream because I don’t play practice rounds very often. I didn’t want to be here on Monday because I wasn’t feeling very well. I’ve played Carnoustie loads of times. I’ve never seen it like this.
“I’ve managed my game exceptionally well today because I knew on certain tee shots I wasn’t going to hit a great tee shot so I played for the rough and I played for missing the bunkers. Had this course been wet this week, I wouldn’t have had much joy.
“It was hard work just getting the ball to the hole. It fell hard. The putt I had on the last, I was desperately trying to hole it but desperately thinking, well, I could easily wipe this three foot past, and the last thing I want to do is leave myself a three-footer at Carnoustie in front of 10,000 people.”
He’ll smirk at the prospect of this but Le Golf National in September isn’t that silly an idea and there’s plenty of red wine to be enjoyed there.
More from NCG at The Open