Saturday, 15 March 2014
Alejandro Canizares  (Getty Images)
Alejandro Canizares (Getty Images)
Alejandro Cañizares saw his overnight advantage doubled over the opening holes of the Trophée Hassan II third round.

The Spaniard, who won on only his third European Tour start in 2006 but has not added a second title in almost 200 attempts since, began the day one clear of England’s Seve Benson.

And three straight pars were enough to extend that lead to two, as Cañizares remained on 14 under at Golf du Palais Royal.

Benson, looking for his first European Tour title, missed a 12 foot par effort at the first and dropped back to 12 under.

That was still three clear of third-placed Rafa Cabrera-Bello, with the winds strengthening in Agadir and leading to some high scores.

Former winner David Horsey suffered more than most, missing the green with his tee shot to the short third and running his first chip through the green.

He tried to flop his next effort onto the putting surface, but the ball rolled off the far side to leave him back where he started and two putts led to a triple bogey six that dented his hopes of regaining the silver dagger.

A bogey on the fourth saw Cañizares’ lead over Benson reduced to a single shot once more, but the 31 year old carded his first birdie of the day on the fifth by holing from 25 feet.

Benson, who was still looking for his first birdie after 14 in the first two rounds, was two back, but the leading pair were threatening to pull away from the field, with four shots separating Benson and Michael Hoey, Robert-Jan Derksen, Richard Bland and Cabrera-Bello in joint third.

Cañizares picked up his second birdie of the day thanks to a beautifully judged long putt on the par-five 10th, and that was enough to suddenly extend his lead to four shots.

Benson's approach to the same hole had plugged in the mud on the bank of a water hazard to the right of the green and that led to a bogey, leaving the Englishman 11 under and Cañizares 15 under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1CAÑIZARES, AlejandroESP18-19
2SULLIVAN, AndyENG18-14
T3CARLSSON, Magnus ASWE18-12
T3BENSON, SeveENG18-12
T5CABRERA-BELLO, RafaESP18-11
T5BLAND, RichardENG18-11

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