EDDIE Pepperell is extra keen to get away to a good start when he returns to European Tour action tomorrow.

The golfer from Abingdon is in the field at the Betfred British Masters, an event he won in 2018.

It is more than four months since Pepperell last competed, with the tour put into an enforced lockdown by the coronavirus pandemic.

Tournaments have only returned due to tight restrictions, which include disqualification for any golfer leaving the site during the event.

There will also be no galleries, which the world No 82 believes will be a challenge to stay motivated if he is not near the top of the leaderboard at Close House, near Newcastle.

He said: “It will be nice to go and get some competitive golf in again.

“I don’t know how inspired I’m going to feel, for a number of different reasons.

“I might find that (the lack of crowds) the hardest to overcome, that’s why I need to play well.

“If I shoot good scores it gives you a different kind of buzz and energy.

“If you don’t then it could become a frustrating week or two.”

Pepperell starts his campaign at 9.10am on Wednesday alongside tournament host Lee Westwood and Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult.

It is the start of six events in as many weeks across England and Wales, as the tour seeks to make up for lost time.

The Frilford Heath member plans to play in the Hero Open at Forest of Arden near Birmingham, but intends to skip the next two events at Celtic Manor.

He has a place at the US Open in September, although quarantine rules will dictate whether the 29-year-old travels to Winged Foot in New York.

Pepperell said: “Right now there’s a two-week quarantine, so if that stays I won’t go.

“There’s a lot still up in the air, but potentially it’s still very busy.”

The gap between tournaments is the longest Pepperell will have had since his junior days.

It may mean some rustiness to start with, but practice has been going well and the break has been seen as a positive.

He said: “I think it’s inevitable the first few holes I might feel a bit nervous, just having a scorecard in my hand again.

“In terms of a career, if it’s 25 years long this isn’t a bad thing. It gives you a chance to rest the body and reset the system.

“I think there’s reasons for me to be optimistic. My body is in a great place and my putting feels better.

“My lifestyle was so nomadic and I enjoy that.

“Lockdown was OK to start with but the last month there’s been something missing in my life.

“It will be nice to get on the move again, even if it’s just driving on the motorway.”