Van Pelt leads Dufner by one after three rounds of Perth International

Bo Van Pelt at the ISPS Handa Perth International
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Bo Van Pelt was all smiles after draining a 60-foot birdie putt on the final hole Saturday to take the lead at the ISPS Handa Perth International.
By
PGA.com news services

Series: European Tour

PERTH, Australia -- Bo Van Pelt shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead over fellow American Jason Dufner after Saturday’s third round of the ISPS Handa Perth International on the European Tour.

Van Pelt started the day four shots behind overnight leader Emiliano Grillo and grabbed the lead when Grillo bogeyed two of his last three holes. The 20-year-old Grillo had moved to 13 under with birdies at the sixth and ninth holes.

PERTH INTERNATIONAL

The ISPS Handa Perth International marks the European Tour's return to western Australia for the first time since the 2009 Australian Masters.

But bogeys at 10 and 11 dropped Grillo back into the chasing group and Dufner, who also shot 67 on Saturday, took a share of the lead with five birdies between the seventh and 12th holes.

Grillo reclaimed a one-shot lead with a birdie at No. 12, but Van Pelt finished with four birdies over the last eight holes. Van Pelt sealed his lead with a monster 60-foot putt for birdie on the 18th.

''Once in a while the hole just gets in the way,'' Van Pelt said. ''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.''

Van Pelt said Grillo remained a threat going into the final round. The Argentine, battling to secure his European Tour card, is currently ranked 112th in the Race to Dubai with the top 115 after next month's UBS Hong Kong Open retaining their cards for next season.

''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.''

Dufner sits alone in second place at 11-under 205. Grillo was third overall, a shot further back, while Alejandro Canizares of Spain and David Howell of England were tied for fourth at 7 under.

Dufner was equally pleased with his round and hopeful of picking up the win.

"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," he said.

"Sometimes in the middle of a round, something happens that spurs you to some better play, and I got a little bit of a tough break on seven on my tee ball. Thought it would be in the fairway but hung up in the rough, which put me a good way back and I ended up getting into a bunker 70 yards or so and hit it over the back and then chipped in. "