EDDIE Pepperell has made the tough decision to skip next month’s US Open in a bid to improve his chances of hitting top form later this summer.

The golfer from Abingdon is sacrificing the major so he can manage an ongoing back issue.

It gives him six weeks to recuperate from a hectic spring spent criss-crossing the Atlantic Ocean, ahead of a key run of tournaments.

Right in the middle of that block is the US Open, where he qualifies due to being inside the world’s top 50.

Hosted this year by Pebble Beach, the iconic venue made the call even more difficult, but in the end the near 11,000-mile round-trip to California was ruled out.

“When I looked at the schedule and where I want to be by the end of the season, this is a nice time to get a block of rest in,” Pepperell said.

“All the travel back and forth to the US has put a lot of stress through my back.

“After this rest period there’s the Irish Open, Scottish Open, the Open and a WGC event and I want to give myself time before that.

“I think the first three of those I could win any of them.”

He added: “I would love to go and play at Pebble Beach. But it meant going to the west coast of the States for one week, which is a lot of travel and I think by not going to that it really affords me a really great rest period.

“It’s just one of those things.”

Pepperell has had back problems since slipping a disc in 2015.

It relapsed at the end of last season, forcing him to withdraw from a WGC event in China and the season-ending World Tour Championship in Dubai.

He had described the back as “not being in a great spot” earlier this month, but it was good enough to finish in a share of second place at the British Masters.

The 28-year-old then flew to New York for the US PGA Championship, where he missed the cut.

It is hoped taking the time out will maximise his chances of performing well in a bumper July.

Pepperell has had second-placed finishes at the Irish and Scottish Opens, while he was joint sixth at last year’s Open Championship – to be hosted by Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland this time around.

The run of events ends with the lucrative St Jude Invitational at TPC Southwind, Tennessee.