Perth International Golf 2013: Top Players to Watch on Day 2
World No. 830 Peter Hedblom took a share of the lead heading into Day 2 at the ISPS Handa Perth International.
Hedblom, Korea’s Jin Jeong and Australian hopefuls James Nitties and Clint Rice each shot four under par on the opening day of play at the Lake Karrinyup Country Club in Australia.
Players from all over the world have congregated Down Under for the tournament, and each has his own agenda. For the Europeans, the event represents a chance to pick up some crucial points in the Race to Dubai, while others are fighting to hold onto their European Tour cards ahead of the 2014 season.
Here are a few players to keep an eye on when the action gets underway on Day 2.
Peter Hedblom (-4)
He currently sits 179th in the Race to Dubai, and with only the top 110 rewarded with playing privileges for next year, he will need to win this week to retain his tour card.
He came off the first tee with guns blazing Thursday, picking up a bogey on the second hole before reeling off birdies on the third, fourth, eighth, 11th and 12th. A second bogey of the day on the par-four 14th cooled his streak, but he responded impressively with a birdie on No. 15 to finish the day with a 68.
If he is to retain his tour card, he will need to lead from the front for the next three days. It's a tall order, but if his performance on Thursday is anything to go by, he can’t be ruled out just yet.
Dustin Johnson (-3)
The pre-tournament favourite impressed on Day 1 in Perth, finishing one stroke off the lead after carding a 69.
The big-hitting American, who is famous for his distance with the driver (check it out in all its glory below), picked up birdies on all but one of the par-fives. He is positioned nicely for an assault on the leaders.
I just have a little bit of a cough which is okay. I'm back to where I feel good enough to play good golf.
I think I've got a pretty good game plan for the golf course. Coming into the greens is just where you've really got to think about the shot you're hitting and where you want to hit it.
The world No. 21 started the season in winning form by clinching the title at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January, and he will be eager to return to winning ways as the season draws to a close.
Ross Fisher (E)
The world No. 113 has finished in the top 10 in three of his last four events at the Omega European Masters, KLM Open and last weekend at the Portugal Masters, where he tied for eighth.
He continued his steady form on Day 1 in Perth. His round of 72—a result of two birdies and two bogeys—didn't set the world ablaze, but it gives him a springboard to work from in the coming days.
Bo Van Pelt (-2)
Bo Van Pelt took home the title at Australia’s richest tour event in 2012, and after an impressive opening day, the American is in prime position to defend his crown.
His best result of the season was a sixth-place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. Before the tournament, he said he was “itching” to get going after taking six weeks off, per Brendan James of Golf Australia.
His eagerness led to a bogey on the second hole Thursday, but the experienced 38-year-old recovered to birdie the sixth, 13th and 15th holes to finish the day at two under, which put him tied for the 13th spot.
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