PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. — It’s easy to see highlights Sunday afternoon and assume that things are always fine and rosy for Tour players in contention. But Eddie Pepperell, who finished T3, reminded us in a reflective blog post Monday that there’s always more going on than meets the eye.
On Tuesday leading up to the Players Championship, Eddie Pepperell was struggling mightily, so frustrated that he left the golf course. But he didn’t leave with all 14 clubs intact.
“I hadn’t snapped a club all year until the Tuesday of Sawgrass during a practice round,” Pepperell writes in his latest must-read blog post. “I was hitting a five-iron into the 7th hole and after hitting what was ironically one of my better shots that day, though still not good, I smashed the club into my bag, bending it severely, and then proceeded to throw it Rory McIlroy style into the lake for the alligators to feast on.
“It was an act of petulance, borne out of frustration. I walked in after my third shot into the par five 9th, waving goodbye to Alex Noren from a distance who I was playing with. I went straight back to my hotel room for a nap.”
Things got significantly better for Pepperell over the course of the week. After his Tuesday nap, he returned to the course refreshed, worked through some new swing thoughts and got himself in position to play. By Sunday, he was in contention, particularly after a highlight-reel birdie at No. 17. Even with that miraculous putt, Pepperell said there was more to it than met the eye.
“I’m far more comfortable looking at the ground when people are cheering me on, so I didn’t take in too much. I generally feel too inadequate to lap up the adulation,” he admits in the post.
As for the Rory McIlroy toss he references? That comes from an incident in 2015 in which McIlroy pinwheeled his three-iron some 40 yards into the water at Doral. “It felt good at the time,” he said afterwards, but added that “looking back, it wasn’t one of my proudest moments.”
For insight on fame, success, TPC Sawgrass and more, check out Pepperell’s entire post here.