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Saturday, 27 April 2019
Erik van Rooyen  (Getty Images)
Erik van Rooyen (Getty Images)

Erik van Rooyen will be looking to use all his experience when he takes a one shot lead into the final round of the Trophée Hassan II on Sunday.

The South African is looking for his first European Tour win at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam but tasted victory on both the European Challenge Tour and the Sunshine Tour in 2017.

His victory at the Hainan Open came when he took a two shot lead into the final round, and he led by four after 54 holes in the Rolex Series at last season's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open hosted by the Rory Foundation.

The 29-year-old went on to finish fourth as Russell Knox won in Donegal, and he will have some experienced players chasing him down in Rabat.

Spaniard Jorge Campillo is his closest challenger at seven under, a shot clear of American Sean Crocker and two ahead of Scot Grant Forrest, Australian Wade Ormsby, England's Lee Slattery and American Julian Suri.

"I was quite nervous last year," said Van Rooyen. "I think I've been in this position a bunch of times now. The nerves will be there again tomorrow but I love to be in this position."

Van Rooyen birdied his final three holes as he carded a third round 68 to get to eight under and he was delighted with his day's work.

"I didn't switch any gears," he added. "I struggled with my rhythm, my tempo in the beginning and I think I just kind of found my flow on the back nine.

"What we've been doing up until now has been great, so we'll just keep doing that."

Crocker started the day in a share of the lead and a wonderful approach into the first and 15 foot putt on the second soon had him three ahead.

Van Rooyen was a long way back after a bogey at the second but he hit an excellent approach to the seventh and a stunning tee shot to tap-in range at the ninth.

Campillo holed a 35 footer on the fifth and a 20 footer on the eighth to move into second and when Crocker hit a poor second shot into the eighth, his lead was down to one.

Van Rooyen spun his approach to the 12th back to the hole to set up a birdie but Crocker was two ahead again with a wonderful tee shot to ten feet at the ninth.

A 20 footer on the 13th had Van Rooyen within one but he bogeyed the next, while Campillo holed from ten feet on the 12th to join a four way tie in second.

Van Rooyen holed from the fringe at the 16th while Campillo made a ten footer on the 15th, and when both men got up and down from the sand on the 17th, there was a three way tie.

Crocker could not get up and down from a bunker at the 14th and when Van Rooyen took advantage of the par five last, he led on his own.

A stunning approach saw Crocker bounce back on the 15th but he double bogeyed the next before birdieing the 17th to stay right in touch.

Forrest matched Campillo in carding a 69, Ormsby signed for a 70 and Slattery and Suri both recorded rounds of 72.

Japan's Masahiro Kawamura, American David Lipsky and Englishman Jordan Smith were four under.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1CAMPILLO, JorgeESP18-9
T2SURI, JulianUSA18-7
T2CROCKER, SeanUSA18-7
T2VAN ROOYEN, ErikRSA18-7
5LIPSKY, DavidUSA18-5
T6KAWAMURA, MasahiroJPN18-4

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