Perth glory for Van Pelt

10/21/2012 10:07:11 AM
 Bo Van Pelt   (Getty Images)
Bo Van Pelt (Getty Images)
Bo Van Pelt came out on top of an all-American battle with Jason Dufner to win the ISPS HANDA Perth International at Lake Karrinyup.

Having snatched the lead with a 60 foot putt on the final green at the end of the third round, the 37 year old was never caught on the last day.

A four under par 68 gave Van Pelt a 16 under total and left him two clear of Dufner, with first round leader Alejandro Cañizares of Spain coming through to take third on 11 under.

Van Pelt started well as he holed an eight footer at the first for birdie, and he pitched to two feet at the long third to further his advantage.

He rolled in a ten footer at the sixth and from 15 feet at the seventh to turn in 32, before starting for home with a nine foot birdie at the tenth and chipping to three feet at the 11th.

Dufner kept in touch and reduced the gap from three to one at the 14th when he tapped in for birdie after almost holing his approach as his playing partner three-putted for his first dropped shot of the day.

A two-putt birdie at the 15th and Dufner bogey at the 16th restored Van Pelt’s advantage, and a duffed chip at the 17th proved inconsequential as he holed a six footer for par at the last.

“Jason and I had a great battle and played well,” said Van Pelt. “It definitely got tight there at the end but luckily for me I came out on top.

“I have a lot of respect for Jason and his game - he's a world class player and I knew it was going to be tough today. I knew he was going to keep the pressure on me, and I needed to play well if I was going to come out on top. 

“It was fun. That's why you practice  - to give yourself a chance to win with nine holes to go. 

“All in all I was pleased with how I played today. I had a loose shot there on 17 that I was not that happy with, but fortunately I had a lead at that point and was able to make a putt on 18 and get it done.

“Lake Karrinyup was a great test of golf all week. It’s been a battle; the wind blew, the greens were firm and fast, and it was just a joy to play all week.

“Whenever you get a lead you want to take advantage of it so it was nice to finish one off this week.”

Dufner, who signed for a 69, was pleased with his efforts in his first appearance since The Ryder Cup.

“It's been a good trip,” he said. “It's good to get back out and compete and nice to be in the hunt after a couple weeks off and after The Ryder Cup. Nothing to be ashamed of, just got to tighten up a couple things.”

Cañizares had five birdies in his back-nine 31, and by posting a 68 for third place the 29 year old collected €96,374 – a cheque that moves him well inside The Race to Dubai’s top 60 a month before the DP World Tour Championship.

“The top five here gets me into Singapore which helps a lot,” said Cañizares, who since winning on his fifth European Tour start has gone 158 events without victory. 

“I didn't have that tournament before because of my ranking from last year, so I’m happy to be able to get there on my own merit. It helps me, gives me one more chance to consolidate in the top 60 and hopefully play in Dubai.”

New Zealand’s Michael Hendry took fourth on nine under, while all five players tied for fifth had reason to be pleased with their week’s work.

For Paul Casey it was a first top-ten finish on The European Tour this season, Scott Jamieson and David Howell boosted their prospects of featuring in Dubai, and Wales’ Rhys Davies and Argentina’s  halfway leader Emiliano Grillo took a significant step towards securing their playing rights for next season.