Bo Van Pelt prevailed in an all-American battle with Jason Dufner to win the ISPS HANDA Perth International at Lake Karrinyup, winning with a tournament total of 16-under par.
Starting the final round with a one stroke lead, Van Pelt was in control of the tournament throughout the day, posting a final round of 68 to secure the win by two shots.
“It’s a great feeling to come out on top, I have a lot of respect for Jason and his game,he’s a world‑class player and I knew it was going to be tough today,” said Van Pelt.
“I knew he was going to keep the pressure on me, and I needed to play well if I was going to come out on top.”
Van Pelt was pleased to come away from his week in Perth with a win, his first this year.
“In golf, no matter how great of a player you are, you lose more than you win, even the best players of all time, they don’t win 50 percent,” said Van Pelt.
“Any time you get a win, it’s special; to come this far and to play against a great field, a co‑sanctioned European Tour event and PGA Tour of Australasia event, it’s something that I’ll cherish forever.”
“I’ve won a tournament in the States and I’ve won a tournament in Malaysia, and now to win one in Australia, as much as golf means over here, it means a lot to me to come to a country that treasures golf and to win a title.”
The win was particularly poignant for Van Pelt who dedicated it to his friend and PGA TOUR caddy, Scott Steele, who sadly passed away during the week.
“It was tough news this morning, I found out off of Twitter, some of the other caddies and players that I follow,” said Van Pelt.
“I knew he had had a heart attack earlier in the week in a Champions Tour event and they didn’t know how he was going to come out of the coma, to see that he had passed on was tough news.”
“The best way to honour a guy like that was to have a great attitude and have a lot of energy, that’s how he lived his life. This one is for him.”
World Number 10 Jason Dufner was the only player in the field to challenge Van Pelt but found each of his birdies was answered by the eventual champion.
“Bo played really good today, put a lot of pressure on me to make something happen and I couldn’t quite do it,” said Dufner.
“The par 5s are probably the difference on the back nine, probably the par 5s all day. I had a chance for eagle on 3 and we ended up tying the hole with a chip‑in on 4, and he makes a 20‑footer, we tie the hole.
“So you do those things, little things here and there each day, which I did each day, you’regoing to have a hard chance winning when someone plays as well as Bo did.”
Both Americans sung high praises for the PGA Tour of Australasia and European Tour co-sanctioned ISPS HANDA Perth International and Lake Karrinyup Country Club.
“You know, the weather was fantastic, the people were great and I really enjoyed the golf course,” said Van Pelt.
“I’ll be spreading the word of what a great event this is and guys need to come and check it out.”
Greg Chalmers finished the leading Australian in 10th position at 7-under for the tournament and while disappointed he wasn’t able to make more of a run at the leaders he is looking forward to the rest of the Australian summer of golf.
“I’ve had a great week and really enjoyed all the local support and it’s been a really exciting week for me. I have not played professional golf here for so long and it’sbeen just fabulous,” said Chalmers.
“I was never going to win the golf tournament after about nine holes I figured out but I was in a good position to have a strong finish, top three or five and I blew it over the last couple of holes.”
“I’m going to play the Open and the PGA to defend what I won last year. I’ll be back and I’ll be playing. I come back every year and I enjoy it,” he added.
Portugal’s Alejandro Canizares finished the tournament well in outright third at 11-under the card.
A further two shots back was New Zealand’s Michael Hendry, who after leading at the conclusion of the first round finished the tournament outright 4th at 9-under par.
Rounding out the top five at 8-under the card was a group of five players including second round leader Emiliano Grillo, Englishmen Paul Casey and David Howell, Scotsman Scott Jamieson and Welshman Rhys Davies.
For the final results please click here.
This afternoon’s win by Van Pelt wrapped up what was has been described as an extremely successful week for the inaugural tournament.
After presenting the trophy to Van Pelt, Dr Haruhisa Handa, title sponsor of the event and member of Lake Karrinyup Country Club, said the tournament was a great example of the power sport had to inspire people.
“Over the past four days we have witnessed not only some inspirational and outstanding golf, but also some great camaraderie and sportsmanship amongst a talented field of international players.
“I have sponsored many golf events over the past 25 years and I have been very impressed by the high level of interest in this event, the competition between the top players as well as the number of young golfers participating and doing well.
“Thank you to our winner and all of the golfers participating this week who have been a greatinspiration.”
Norman Moore, Minister representing the Premier of Western Australia and the Minister for Tourism, praised IMG for the success of the event.
“Starting a new event always presents enormous challenges but IMG has done a magnificent job.
“The State Government shares a vision with IMG to see the ISPS HANDA Perth International develop and grow into one of the feature golf tournaments in the Asia Pacific region,” Minister Moore said.
The ISPS HANDA Perth International is the only event in Australia to partner with the European Tour.
David Garland,director of European Tour operations said the event had generated excitement amongst players and hailed the tournament a great success.
“The European players have loved coming to Perth, the weather and hospitality have been tremendous and the course has been fantastic and very challenging.
“The players are already talking about coming back next year and they want to spread theword about how good the tournament has been and how great Perth and Lake Karrinyup have been,” he said.
IMG’s director of golf David Rollo said the event had had great support.
“This year’s event has always been about putting a stake in the ground. We have had great support especially from Tourism Western Australia.
“The players who have been here love Perth and love the golf course, Lake Karrinyup has been in fantastic shape. The players will be fantastic ambassadors and that is great from the point of view of establishing the event.
“We are pleased with the outcome so far and what we have been able to deliver. There is an exciting future for the Perth International at Lake Karrinyup,” Rollo said.
The ISPS HANDA Perth International and, with a prize purse of US$2,000,000, is the richest tournament in Australia. The event is owned and promoted by IMG and is the collective vision of Eventscorp, a division of Tourism Western Australia, and IMG to see a major international golf event played annually in Perth.
The International Sports Promotion Society, ISPS, is the title sponsor of the inaugural event. The ISPS HANDA Perth International is broadcasted globally via European Tour Television for over 800 hours showcasing Perth and Western Australia to 400 million homes in 67 countries.