PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FLORIDA | Had you been looking, you could have watched the present and the future of English professional golf in one pairing in the last round of the Players Championship. On a grey, windswept day that owed more to Britain’s climate than Florida’s, there was Justin Rose, 38, who seems to be world No 1 on alternate weeks and in contention every other week and there, alongside him, was Eddie Pepperell, 28, a stocky, curly-haired Englishman who didn’t look at all out of place in such exalted company near the head of the field at this prestigious event – on his debut in it. Everyone knew Justin; no one knew Eddie.
They do now. The way they chanted his name when he sank a long putt across the 17th green on TPC Sawgrass’ Stadium Course meant Americans had taken Pepperell to their hearts. “Ed-die, Ed-die” they shouted, taking advantage of the two syllables of his first name in much the same way as they lauded “Se-ve, Se-ve” in days gone by and shout “Ro-ry, Ro-ry” now. Pepperell’s putt, nearly twice as long as a cricke...
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