Canizares extends lead to 6 in Morocco

The Sports NetworkMarch 14, 2014 

Agadir, Morocco (SportsNetwork.com) - Alejandro Canizares carded a 3-under 69 on Saturday to extend his lead to six strokes entering the final round of the Trophee Hassan II.

Canizares, who earned his lone victory on the European Tour at the 2006 Russian Open, finished three rounds at Golf du Palais Royal at 17-under-par 199.

"Hopefully, I will keep calm and keep my rhythm and focus on every shot tomorrow," Canizares said about playing with such a large lead. "In this game anything can happen. Everybody saw that you can go low on this golf course. I have to keep going forward and do the best I can on every shot."

Seve Benson tripped to a 2-over 74 during his third round, but is still in second place at 11-under 205.

Robert-Jan Derksen (67) is in third at 10-under, while 2011 Trophee Hassan II champion David Horsey (72), Paul Waring (67), Shiv Kapur (67), Robert Karlsson (70) and Magnus A. Carlsson (72) share fourth at minus-8.

Canizares entered the day with a 1-stroke lead, but Benson quickly handed him a 2-shot advantage with a bogey at the first, dropping him to 12-under.

Canizares gave that shot away with a bogey at the fourth before bouncing right back with a birdie at the fifth to again reach 14-under.

A 2-stroke swing at the 10th stretched Canizares' lead to four as Benson tripped to a bogey at the hole, while Canizares converted his birdie chance to move to minus-15.

Benson birdied the 11th to pull back within three of the lead, but then posted a triple-bogey at the 12th after blasting into the water from a greenside bunker to tumble all the way down to 9-under and into a tie for second place with Waring.

Waring had countered a lone bogey with five birdies and an eagle over 17 holes to reach 9-under, but then closed with a bogey at the last to end at minus-8.

Derksen, meanwhile, converted three straight birdies from the eighth between 12 pars before rolling in a birdie at the 16th to meet Benson at 9-under.

After Canizares birdied the 13th to move to 16-under and stretch his lead up to seven strokes, Derksen made it two gains in a row at the 17th to claim sole possession of second. Derksen parred the 18th to finish at 10-under.

Canizares then birdied the 14th to reach 17-under and parred his final four holes to claim a 7-stroke advantage.

But Benson recovered from his gaffe at the 12th with three straight birdies from the 15th to get back to 12-under before a bogey at the last dropped him six strokes off the pace.

"I was happy with the way I came back with five or six holes to go, so there are positives going into tomorrow," said Benson. "I always know that if I am not playing well that my best golf is just around the corner, so I was just trying to stay patient. Tomorrow is another day and I am feeling confident."

NOTES: Canizares' win came in just his third start as an affiliate member on tour ... Mark Tullo notched an albatross on the par-5 15th hole ... Derksen recorded the only bogey-free round of the day.

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