Van Pelt leads Dufner by 1 in Perth
Perth, Western Australia (Sports Network) - Bo Van Pelt rolled in a long birdie putt on the final hole Saturday to grab a 1-shot lead after three rounds of the inaugural Perth International.
Van Pelt trailed most of the day, but four birdies on the back nine gave him the lead as he carded a 5-under 67 en route to finishing 54 holes at 12-under- par 205. He will go for his first European Tour win on Sunday.
Fellow American Jason Dufner also shot 67 to end alone in second place at minus-11. Second-round leader Emiliano Grillo bogeyed two of the last three holes to slide into third place. Grillo stumbled to a 1-over 73 to finish three rounds at minus-10.
David Howell (70) and Alejandro Canizares (71) share fourth place at 7-under- par 209 at Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
Greg Chalmers (69), Michael Hendry (72) and Steven Jones (68) are tied for sixth at minus-6.
Van Pelt opened with a birdie on the first to get within three of Grillo's lead. After four straight pars, Van Pelt traded a bogey for a birdie from the sixth.
Around the turn, he started to make his move. Back-to-back birdies at 11 and 12 got Van Pelt within one of the lead at 10-under. Grillo stretched his advantage back to two with a birdie on the 12th.
Van Pelt moved to 11-under with his second birdie in two days on the 15th. At the last, he snaked in a long, downhill birdie attempt to grab the lead at 12- under.
"Once in a while a hole just gets in the way. I felt like I hit a pretty good second shot, just carried about five yards further. I was just trying to get the ball down there and 2-putt and get out of there, and lo and behold, it goes in the hole," Van Pelt said of his putt at 18.
"There's still a lot of golf to be played. It was just nice to finish with a birdie like that and hopefully take that into tomorrow."
Dufner had two bogeys and an eagle through five holes before catching fire in the middle of his round. He chipped in for birdie on the seventh and came back with a tap-in birdie on No. 9.
He rolled in a 10-footer for birdie at 10 before getting up and down from a greenside bunker for birdie on 11. Dufner sank a 5-foot birdie putt at the 12th, his fourth straight birdie, to get to 11-under. However, he parred the final six holes to end there.
"Another pretty solid day. I had moments where I thought I was really going to put a low score up," Dufner said in a television interview. "I couldn't capitalize on a some opportunities. A couple of bogeys again today, but 5- under today...and I'm pretty happy with it."
Grillo led until his back nine struggles. He birdied the sixth and ninth to make the turn at 13-under, where he was three clear of the field.
The Argentine faltered to bogeys at 10 and 11 to slip to 11-under, where he was joined by a charging Dufner.
Grillo bounced back with a 12-foot birdie putt on the 12th to regain the top spot on the leaderboard. He stumbled to a bogey on No. 16 to dip into a share of the lead with Van Pelt and Dufner.
At the last, Grillo faltered to a 3-putt bogey to finish two back as his playing partner, Van Pelt, birdied the same hole.
NOTES: The top three players on the leaderboard entering the final round are all winless on the European Tour, though both Van Pelt and Dufner have won on the PGA Tour...Grillo entered the week needing a good finish to lock up his tour card for next year, and he'll take care of that on Sunday with a top-5 finish.
10/20 07:01:03 ET