PERTH, Australia (AP) – Bo Van Pelt won the Perth International on Sunday, closing with a 4-under 68 for a two-stroke victory over American countryman Jason Dufner.
Van Pelt extended his one-shot overnight lead with the help of six birdies and two bogeys to secure his first victory in a European Tour-sanctioned event. He finished at 16-under 272 at Lake Karrinyup and earned $333,330.
“We had a good battle there,” Van Pelt said. “We both played well.”
Dufner, a two-time winner this year on the PGA Tour, shot a 69. Spain’s Alejandro Canizares was third at 11 under after a 68.
New Zealand’s Michael Hendry had a 69 to finish fourth at 9 under, and Englishmen Paul Casey (67) and David Howell (71) were another stroke back along with Scotland’s Scott Jamieson (68), Wales’ Rhys Davies (69) and Argentina’s Emiliano Grillo (74).
Van Pelt had five birdies in his first 11 holes to increase his lead to three shots, but then stumbled on the 14th when he three-putted for bogey while Dufner hit an approach to within inches of the flag and tapped in for birdie to pull within one.
However, Van Pelt responded with a birdie on the next hole while Dufner bogeyed the 16th to give his rival a comfortable cushion.
“I had a bit of a lead there and made bogey on 14,” Van Pelt said. “I thought I hit a pretty good shot but it definitely got tight there at the end. A little tighter than I wanted but luckily for me I came out on top.”
It was Van Pelt’s first victory of the year, despite having 10 top-10 finishes. His last victory came in the Asia-Pacific Classic in Malaysia last year, a title he is due to defend next week.
“I felt I had a good year last without a win, though I won in Malaysia, and this year was kind of the same thing,” he said. “I had a lot of top-10s but let a couple of chances slip by.
“Whenever you get to lead you want to try to take advantage of it so it was nice to finish one off this week.”