The West

Van Pelt wins Perth International
Bo Van Pelt of the USA poses with the trophy after winning the Perth International at Lake Karrinyup Country Club. Pic: Getty Images

World No.24 Bo van Pelt prevailed in the battle of the Americans to win the inaugural $2 million Perth International at Lake Karrinyup on Sunday.

Van Pelt started the day one stroke clear of countryman Jason Dufner, and two ahead of 20-year-old Argentine Emiliano Grillo.

Grillo, who led by as many as five strokes early in his third round, failed to keep the fire burning on Sunday, shooting a tame two-over 74 to leave van Pelt and Dufner to fight it out for the trophy.

World No.10 Dufner had his moments, chipping in for birdie on the par-five seventh, and also sending a beautiful approach shot to within 15cm of the hole at the par-four 14th.

But van Pelt was up to the challenge, carding a four-under 68 to finish 16-under for the tournament and two clear of Dufner.

Spain's Alejandro Canizares finished third at 11-under, with Kiwi Michael Hendry two strokes further back in fourth.

Grillo dropped two shots on his final three holes to finish at eight-under, but his equal fifth-place finish should be enough for the world No.516 to retain his European Tour card for next year.

Defending Australian Open winner Greg Chalmers was in the hunt for a top-three finish, but a double-bogey on the 16th and bogey on the 17th saw him tumble to 10th at seven-under.

"I wish I could have one swing back - the tee shot off the 16th when I made a double bogey," Chalmers said after shooting a one-under 71 in his final round.

"I figured out after nine holes today I was never going to win the tournament.

"But I was in a good position to have a top-three or top-five position, and I blew it over the last few holes."

Former world No.3 Paul Casey produced one of the best rounds of the day, shooting a five-under 67 to make a surge up the leaderboard.

But his three-over 75 on Friday cost him any real chance of victory, with the Englishman forced to settle for a tie for fifth at eight-under along with Grillo, Scott Jamieson, Rhys Davies and David Howell.

Van Pelt dedicated his first European Tour victory to popular caddie Scott Steele, who died of a heart attack on Friday at the age of 55.

"To see that he had passed on was tough news," van Pelt said.

"Scotty has been great to me ever since I was a rookie.

"The best way to honour a guy like that was to have a great attitude, to have a lot of energy.

"That's how he lived his life. He was a good man that will be sorely missed by anyone who ever came in contact with him."

Van Pelt pocketed $US333,330 ($A323,103) for the win, and said he was looking forward to defending his title next year.

The West Australian

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