Now Davies and Horsey in front
Rhys Davies and David Horsey will share the lead at 10-under heading into Sunday’s final round round of the Trophée Hassan II.
Welshman Rhys Davies and England’s David Horsey will share the lead at 10-under heading into Sunday’s final round round of the Trophée Hassan II in Morocco.
Davies, the defending champion, 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.
But the BMW International Open winner Horsey was not about to let Davies get away on moving Saturday and was able to reel him in and match his 10-under total with a 67, the highlight coming when his approach to the sixth spun in for an eagle two.
The pair lie one ahead of South African Jaco Van Zyl, with his compatriot George Coetzee and Finland’s Mikko Ilonen a further shot back 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.”
Horsey is too.
“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 the Englishman.
“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 confided. “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 with a bang 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 overtake him and open up this see-saw title race in Agadir.
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