sport

Horsey wobbles in Morocco

David Horsey's bid for a second Hassan Trophy title suffered a massive blow in the early stages of the third round in Morocco on Saturday.

Horsey, who won a play-off at Golf du Palais Royal in 2011 and was also second last year, had charged into contention with a flawless eight-under-par 64 on Friday, the lowest round of the day.

But much of that good work was undone on a single hole when play resumed, the 28-year-old from Cheshire running up a triple-bogey six on the second.

After missing the green with his tee shot, Horsey twice chipped from one side of the green off the other, with the hole perched in a treacherous position on top of a narrow part of the putting surface.

Two putts from 10 feet added up to a six and dropped Horsey to five under par, eight shots behind overnight leader Alejandro Canizares.

Canizares, seeking his first European Tour title since 2006, had opened with three pars before a bogey on the fourth meant his lead over Seve Benson was a single shot once more, Benson having dropped two behind with a bogey on the first.

Horsey steadied the ship with a run of six straight pars, including holing from eight feet to avoid three-putting the eighth, but still fell further off the pace.

That was because Canizares carded his first birdie of the day on the fifth by holing from 25 feet, the Spaniard stretching two ahead of Benson who was still looking for his first birdie after 14 in the first two rounds.

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 Rafael Cabrera-Bello in joint third.

Canizares 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 Canizares 15 under.