BBC left with a last-minute vacancy after pundit qualifies for The Open

Victoria Ward
Abingdon's Eddie Pepperell will be teeing off at Carnoustie instead of helping Radio 5 Live with its coverage - Getty Images Europe

The BBC has been left with a last minute hole in its commentary team for The Open - after one of its pundits qualified to play.

Eddie Pepperell, 27, signed up for commentary duties with BBC Radio 5 Live reasoning that at least it would afford him the opportunity to witness the action and the atmosphere at Carnoustie.

But the golfer, from Abingdon, Oxfordshire, will now take a rather more pivotal role in the prestigious tournament after unexpectedly qualifying.

Pepperell’s ambitions of being a golfing pundit were put on hold when he booked himself a coveted place at the championship with a second place finish at the Scottish Open at Gullane this weekend.

His success prompted a hasty change of plans, although he admitted he had not ruled out making his broadcasting debut in the future.

"Maybe if they want me to do the Ryder Cup, I'll consider that," he said. "And then if I make that team, well, I don't know what I'll promise after that. Maybe the diving or something."

Eddie Pepperell's runner-up finish at Gullane saw him qualify for The Open Credit: Andrew Redington/Getty

Pepperell, who turned professional in 2011,  joked that his qualification “saved him” from doing 5 Live but admitted that he had been looking forward to being on the other side of the microphone.

He said he had last played in Gullane in 2015 and "I played well the last time I was here and the similarity is I haven't played a practice round and I stayed in Edinburgh both times,” he said.

"That seems to be the secret for me in Gullane just go out and have nice meals in Edinburgh, drink a bit of wine and then come here and play for four hours.”

Pepperell, who won this year's Qatar Masters, had been due to be a part of the BBC’s on-course team, providing coverage as a summariser for two days this week.

He is known for his sense of humour and intelligence, penning a well-received blog about the sport that offers an articulate window on the life of a young professional, from the loneliness of hotel rooms to the pressure of playing for you sole source of income.

Ben Gallop, head of BBC Radio and Digital Sport, said: “It’s fantastic news that Eddie has qualified for the Open Championship. We wish him the best of luck at Carnoustie.”