Emiliano Grillo (Getty Images)
American stars Bo Van Pelt and Jason Dufner were quick to tip Emiliano Grillo for big things after the Argentinean impressed again at the ISPS HANDA Perth International.
The World Number 516 may have seen his four shot halfway lead eroded, but a 73 still left the Qualifying School graduate only two behind.
“He played a lot better than his score today,” said Van Pelt. “I hope he takes something from that, for such a young player, his upside is tremendous. He's going to have a great career and win a lot of tournaments.
“He probably had five or six putts that looked like they were going to go in that just hit the edge, and that's just golf. Some days they go in and some days they hit the edge. I'm sure he's not pleased with his final score but he did not play poorly today at all, after being on the lead for two days.
“I hope as a young guy he takes that with him and continues to play the way he's playing. He's got a beautiful putting stroke and some days, they just hit the edge instead of going in, and he had that four or five times today where they just as easily could have gone in.
The final pairing had a two-shot swing on the final green as Van Pelt birdied from 60 feet and Grillo missed from five for par.
However, Van Pelt was able to sympathise with the player 17 years his junior having been on the other end of such a result earlier in the year.
Playing with Rory McIlroy in the final group during the third round of the US PGA Championship, Van Pelt missed a crucial par putt as eventual winner McIlroy birdied from 15 feet.
“I've been on both sides of that,” he said. “I had about an eight footer for par that was pretty important for me at the PGA on Sunday and Rory McIlroy just makes a 15 footer for birdie and the tournament's over. I've been there, and it's not a fun situation.
“There's not a lot you can do about it. I was not expecting to make mine, and I know I learned from it when it happened to me at the PGA and hopefully I'll handle it better next time.”
Dufner was also impressed, and revealed Grillo had been causing a buzz before his display this week.
“He's having a great week,” said the World Number Ten. “He's an IMG client, so I'm familiar with the name; some of the guys at IMG I've heard talk about him. I know he's a younger guy, first year on The European Tour, right on the edge of keeping his card.
“So playing with Bo and myself possibly could be another stepping stone for his confidence and his play.”