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Van Pelt Goes up in Perth International
Bo Van Pelt fired a 5-under 67 to take a one-stroke lead over fellow American Jason Dufner, who also shot 67, through 54 holes of the Perth International. The $2 million event, co-sanctioned by the PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour, started Thursday at Lake Karrinyup Country Club in western Australia.
Van Pelt posted six birdies and a bogey to reach 12-under 204. The 37-year-old Indianan concluded his round with a bang, sinking a 55-foot birdie putt on the par-4 18th hole.
"Once in a while the hole just gets in the way," said Van Pelt, whose only victory on the PGA Tour came in the 2009 U.S. Bank Championship. "I was just trying to get the ball down there and two-putt. Lo and behold, the thing goes in the hole. It was just nice to finish with a birdie like that and hopefully I'll take momentum in tomorrow."
The 35-year-old Dufner also had a nice outing to get into contention. On the front nine, the Alabama resident had an eagle on the par-5 third hole, a birdie and two bogeys. Then he got rolling on the home half with birdies on the first four holes.
"It was a nice day to get a good score and move up and have a realistic chance of not having to do anything crazy tomorrow and being in contention to try to win the tournament," said Dufner, who's won twice this year on the PGA Tour.
Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, who entered Saturday with a four-shot cushion over the field, is now in solo third after a 73. The 20-year-old Grillo, a European Tour rookie who opened with a 66 and 67, had three birdies against four bogeys Saturday.
Despite Grillo's travails, Van Pelt is impressed with the youngster. "He played a lot better than his score today," Van Pelt said. "He probably had five or six putts that looked like they were going in, but hit the edge. That's just golf. Some days they go in, other days they hit the edge.
"For such a young player, his upside is tremendous. He's going to have a great career and win a lot of tournaments."
Tied for fourth at 209 are Spain's Alejandro Canizares (71) and England's David Howell (70). Three Aussies follow in sixth at 210 - Michael Hendry (72), Steve Jones (68) and Greg Chalmers (69).
For complete scoring details, visit http://www.pga.org.au/scores/1043.