EDDIE Pepperell lost ground at the Italian Open after carding a two-under-par 69 in the second round.

But the Abingdon golfer remains in the hunt as two late birdies kept him within four shots of the leaders in Milan.

Pepperell, who produced a superb seven-under-par 64 in the opening round, started from the tenth, picking up shots at his second and fifth, before a bogey at the 16th.

He endured a mixed second nine, despite birdies at the first and fifth.

Bogeys at the third, sixth and seventh halted his progress.

But Pepperell recovered well, finishing with back-to-back birdies.