EDDIE Pepperell’s exploits at the Scottish Open last weekend have lifted him to a new high in the world rankings.

The 27-year-old from Abingdon finished second in the star-studded field at Gullane, which catapulted him from 117th to 72nd.

It is eight places higher than his previous best, set in 2015, and puts him one position below Tiger Woods heading into Thursday’s Open at Carnoustie.

While Pepperell has found to his cost in the past about the dangers of becoming distracted by the rankings, there are clear benefits if he can continue the rise.

“It’s nice, but if I focus on something like that I end up becoming useless,” the Frilford Heath member said.

“There’s the obvious goal of finishing the year in the top 50, which gets you into the US Masters at Augusta and all the WGC (World Golf Championship) events.

“I’m not really thinking about that, but I have a great opportunity to make that happen.”

Pepperell did briefly hold a two-shot lead in the final round on Sunday, where he carded a six-under-par round of 64.

A dropped shot at the 17th might have proved costly, but Brandon Stone’s extraordinary ten-under-par score saw the South African win by four strokes.

Pepperell, who won the Qatar Masters in February, said: “Fair play to Brandon.

“I was always coming from the pack and still shot six-under.

“I didn’t feel disappointed in any way. I felt I gave it my all.

“If I had lost by a shot I would’ve been disappointed, but when you lose by four it’s not soul-destroying.”

Pepperell now heads to Carnoustie, which has already seen Oxfordshire success, following Andrew Sabin and Christopher Cudahy’s victory on Saturday.

The Tadmarton Heath pair came out on top with an aggregate score of 41 points in the R&A’s 9 Hole Championship Final.

It was played over the first four holes and closing five holes of the course in Scotland, which will host the world’s best golfers this week.

Sabin, who plays off 14 but is best known for his exploits on the cricket pitch, said: “When you stand on the first tee and they call your name out, with all the grandstands around you, it raises the hairs on the back of your neck.

“It’s a nerve-wracking but fantastic experience. I will remember it for years to come.”

Cudahy added: “To play Carnoustie in its best condition just before The Open was a real privilege. We were playing just ahead of Adam Scott, who was practising on the course, so we felt like we were really part of The Open.”