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Saturday, 02 April 2011
David Horsey  (Getty Images)
David Horsey (Getty Images)

Defending champion Rhys Davies and England's David Horsey share the lead with one round to play at the Trophée Hassan II.

Wales' Davies had three bogeys in his first six holes but responded magnificently with eight birdies to post a four under 68 at the Golf Du Palais Royal course.

The pair lie ten under par, one ahead of South African Jaco Van Zyl, with his compatriot George Coetzee and Finland's Mikko Ilonen on eight under.

“So far, so good. I’ve played pretty well the last few days and I’m pretty happy to be at the top of the leaderboard,” said Davies. “I’m looking forward to a good battle tomorrow.”

BMW International Open winner Horsey went one better with a 67, the highlight coming when his approach to the sixth spun in for an eagle two.

“I got off to a great start by holing my second shot on the sixth (an eight iron from 130 yards) and then birdied the seventh to really get myself into contention,” said Horsey.

“The birdie chances dried up a little bit on the back nine but then I did manage to chip-in for birdie on 15.

“I was hoping to pick up another shot on the 17th but that’s the game isn’t it - you hole out from 130 yards on one hole and then you take four to get down from 20 yards on another – that’s golf.

“Should be great tomorrow. Rhys is a great player and the defending champion so he is going to be very tough to beat but hopefully I can play my own game and give him a run for his money.”

Davies and Horsey will both be competing for a second European Tour title, and the Welsh 25 year old is keen to earn the “multiple-winner” tag at the earliest opportunity.

“It would mean a lot to get that second win under my belt,” he continued. “Every time I go out there I aim to win the tournament and when you’ve got a chance to compete, I really enjoy it. And I’ve got that chance tomorrow so I can’t wait.

“I wasn’t really looking at what David (Horsey) or some of the others were doing, I was just trying to concentrate on my own game. There are some tricky flags out there and quite a few birdie-bogey pins, in the sense that if you hit it close you’ve got a good chance to make the putt, but if you get near a nasty run-off the chipping and shots around the green are very difficult.”

Van Zyl’s 65 was the best of the day, while halfway joint-leader Joost Luiten returned a 71 to share sixth with Lloyd Saltman.

South African Coetzee initially moved past overnight leaders Davies and Luiten with an opening hattrick of birdies, before extending his lead at the par five fifth by reaching the green in two and holing his eagle putt.

Four clear at that point, the 24 year old came back down to earth at the next when his approach came up short of the green and led to a bogey.

Four-time Sunshine Tour winner Coetzee was straight back to ten under with another gain at the seventh, bogeyed the eighth but returned to five under for the day when he picked up a shot at the par five tenth.

However, three dropped shots on the back nine allowed first Horsey and then Davies to move ahead, leaving the title race wide open in Agadir.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1HORSEY, DavidENG18-13
T2VAN ZYL, JacoRSA18-13
T2DAVIES, RhysWAL18-13
4COETZEE, GeorgeRSA18-11
T5GONNET, Jean-BaptisteFRA18-10
T5FLOREN, OscarSWE18-10
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