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Canizares on Cruise Control in Morocco


While all his competition struggled Saturday, Alejandro Canizares continued to excel. The 31-year-old Spaniard carded a 3-under 69 to take a six-stroke lead in the Trophee Hassan II. The European Tour event is taking place at Morocco's Golf du Palais Royal.

Canizares carded four birdies and a bogey Saturday to reach 17-under 199, six shots ahead of England's Seve Benson, who began the third round only a stroke back but posted a 2-over 74 to slip into distant second place.

"It was tough today, especially on the front nine. The pins were difficult to get close to and some even difficult to two-putt," Canizares said. "My idea was to get to 20-under, that was my focus. I was trying to look forward all the time, not behind me."

The 27-year-old Benson, who was named after the late, great Spaniard, Seve Ballesteros, had three birdies, but those were offset by two bogeys and a triple on the par-3 12th hole.

"I struggled just to get the ball pin-high," Benson said. "I was happy with the way I came back with five or six holes to go, so there are positives going into tomorrow."

Nine strokes back are 2011 winner David Horsey (72) and fellow Brit Paul Waring (67), India's Shiv Kapur (67), and Swedes Robert Karlsson and Magnus Carlsson, who shot 70 and 72, respectively.

On Sunday, Canizares will be seeking his first win - and the second title European Tour title of his career - since the 2006 Imperial Collection Russian Open.

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