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Canizares Continues to Excel in Morocco


Alejandro Canizares followed up his opening 10-under 62 with a 68 Friday to maintain a one-stroke lead in the Trophee Hassan II. The European Tour event, being played for the first time, began Thursday at Morocco's Golf du Palais Royal.

After carding a virtually flawless 11 birdies and a bogey Thursday, the 31-year-old Spaniard had a wild second round. Making the turn at even-par 36, the native of Madrid posted six birdies and two bogeys for a 32 on the home half.

Canizares, at 14-under 130 at the halfway point, remains a shot ahead of England's Seve Benson, who also carded a 68. "I felt really confident so I was not thinking too much, I needed to let the golf happen," Caņizares told EuropeanTour.com of his turnaround.

"In some cases my putter was a little cold today but I kept it going on the back nine. It was a pity I bogeyed the 17th because that is a birdie hole, but overall, I am very happy to be leading at the moment and very excited for the weekend."

Benson noted that Friday's winds changed as the round went on. "There was no wind for the first eight or nine holes, which made it a totally different golf course compared to yesterday," said the 27-year-old, who was named after the late great Spaniard, Seve Ballesteros.

"It picked up a little on the back nine but nothing to what it was yesterday so it was a lot easier today."

American Conor Arendell was four strokes back of Canizares midway through the second round.

For updated scores, visit http://www.europeantour.com/europeantour/season=2014/tournamentid=2014019/leaderboard/index.html.