Pepperell in control at British Masters

2 min

London (AFP)

England's Eddie Pepperell holds a commanding three-shot lead heading into the final day of the British Masters.

Pepperell is chasing only the second European Tour title of his career and has a golden opportunity to lift the trophy after recording a third round of 71 at Walton Heath on Saturday.

He finished on nine under par, with fellow Englishman Jordan Smith, Sweden's Alexander Bjork, American Julian Suri and France's Julien Guerrier all six under.

A victory on Sunday would take Pepperell into the world's top 35 and almost certainly secure a Masters debut in 2019.

The top 50 at the end of the year are guaranteed a place in the first major of the year at Augusta National in April.

The 27-year-old began the day with a three-shot lead and was four clear when he holed from 14 feet for an eagle on the par-five 11th.

Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood is seven shots off the pace after rebounding from a 77 on Friday with a 70, while team-mate and tournament host Justin Rose is another stroke adrift following a 69.

A top-two finish on Sunday would see Rose reach the top of the world rankings for the second time this season, the 38-year-old having spent two weeks as number one in September.

"That hasn't actually been on my mind," Rose said. "It's going to be tough to get there as I've got a lot of points to defend, but I've just got to focus on playing well."