Grillo takes four-shot lead in Perth International, Dufner five shots back

Emiliano Grillo at the ISPS Handa Perth International
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Emiliano Grillo, a 20-year-old rookie from Argentina, had two eagles and two birdies Friday at the ISPS Handa Perth International.
By news services

Series: European Tour

Published: Friday, October 19, 2012 | 12:27 p.m.

PERTH, Australia -- Emiliano Grillo moved closer to securing his European Tour card for 2013 -- and his first professional title -- by shooting a 5-under 67 Friday for a four-stroke lead after the second round of the ISPS Handa Perth International on the European Tour.

The 20-year-old rookie had two eagles and two birdies at Lake Karrinyup to finish at 11-under 133. Bo Van Pelt (67) and Jason Scrivener (69) were tied for second.


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

Jason Dufner shot a 67 and was tied for fourth five strokes off the lead with Max McCardle (70) and overnight leaders Alejandro Canizares (73) and Michael Hendry (73).

Paul Casey conceded three bogeys and a double bogey for a 75 to drift out of contention heading into the weekend, while 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel followed a first-round 71 with a 76 to miss the cut by one stroke.

Grillo is 112th in The Race to Dubai with the top 115 after next month's UBS Hong Kong Open retaining cards for next season.

He showed his intent by sinking a 40-foot birdie putt on the first hole, then chipped in from the bunker at the par-5 third for an eagle. His second eagle came on No. 9, where he fired a sand wedge from 100 yards to six feet past the pin, and spun the ball back into the hole.

''I think I hit it better yesterday than today, but a couple of eagles and a hole-out from the bunker helped a lot,'' the Argentine said. ''Just go shot by shot, that's the main goal. You cannot think about the third hole when you're playing the second hole. It's the hardest thing in golf probably, but it's the best thing to do.''

Van Pelt had five birdies, two bogeys and an eagle on the long seventh hole to stay in sight of the lead.

Much of the action in the American's round came late in the day when, after starting on the 10th hole, he hit a 4- iron to 25 feet on the par-5 seventh and sank the putt, then three-putted the short eighth before finishing with a simple birdie on the ninth after a good wedge approach.

''It was a solid day,'' Van Pelt said. ''I would say the biggest difference from today from yesterday, I think I played the par 5s 5 under. I think I only missed three greens, so I was driving the ball in play, and was able to take advantage of the par 5s.''

Schwartzel had five bogeys on the front nine and missed a 5-foot putt on the final hole to miss the weekend.

''It was a pretty much straightforward putt and it bounced out of line,'' Schwartzel said. ''Nothing I can do about it.

''I figured if I could have just made the cut, you can still win the tournament. ... I'm disappointed the way I've played, but I've had a great time.''

England's David Howell shot 68 to reach 5 under, in a large group sharing eighth place, and was keen to capitalize by sealing a place in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship near his home in Dubai.

Howell is 71st in the Race to Dubai and a top-five finish in Perth would leave him in a top-60 place and on track to qualify.

"I have been working really hard to make the top 60 and I've played really consistently the last two or three months without any particularly good finishes," he said. "I'm going to have to have at least one good one if I'm going to make it, so hopefully I'll have a crack at it at the weekend.

"I live five miles from the course in Dubai and I've missed out the last few years, which is a bit frustrating."

Compatriots Robert Coles and Richard Bland and Australians Peter Cooke and Stephen Dartnall are also at 5 under.

Former world No. 3 Casey briefly held a share of the lead before slipping back down the leaderboard. He carded an opening 67 to lie two shots back and, after two birdies in his first six holes on Friday, the former Ryder Cup star found himself in front.

However, Casey then dropped a shot at the 18th, his ninth hole, and worse was to come with a double-bogey 6 at the second. Another 6 followed on the par-5 third and when he also bogeyed the fifth, Casey was on his way to an inward half of 40 and a halfway total of 2 under par.