Tight at the top in Morocco

The Trophee Hassan II is set for a fascinating finale with Scottish pair Richie Ramsay and Andrew McArthur sharing the lead with Frenchman Romain Wattel going into the final round, and a further seven players just one shot back in Morocco.

McArthur and Wattel both posted five under par rounds of 67 to set the clubhouse target of seven under par 209 which was then matched by Ramsay, who dropped a shot on the final hole of his third round after finding the thick rough off the tee. The two-time European Tour champion, joint leader at the halfway stage, hit a tree with his second shot, and after a fine eight iron third shot, he just missed the hole with a 20ft par putt to make it a three-way tie at the top of the leaderboard.

Both McArthur and Wattel will be hoping to land a maiden European Tour title at Golf du Palais Royal, with Wattel moving into contention after picking up five shots in the closing six holes of his round, including an eagle three on the 17th.

South African George Coetzee, who needs a victory to secure an invite to next month’s Masters Tournament, is one shot back on six under par following a battling round of 71. He is tied with six other players, including compatriot Jaco Van Zyl, who closed with a double bogey six on the tricky 18th hole for a round of 70, and 2011 champion David Horsey, whose 69 puts him in contention to be the tournament’s first multiple winner.   

Key player quotes

Andrew McArthur – 67 (-7 total)

“It would be massive if I could win. Iv’e been playing Challenge Tour for one too many years. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. I need to get through those first four or five holes. They are brutal. I got really lucky on the second today. I duffed my chip and managed to walk off with bogey. I could still be there chipping. The leaderboard is packed so I just need to get on with it and see what happens.

Romain Wattel – 67 (-7 total)

“It was a thrilling back nine. It is always nice to finish the round like that. . I was two under quite quickly then I had a few mistakes. I had a good putt on 12 for bogey and that was the key today. If I had missed it would have been a big pain. After this putt I still have confidence even if it was only for bogey.”

Richie Ramsay – 71 (-7 total)

“I’m pleased to be in the hunt. I’m a fraction frustrated as I played some great stuff out there. I hit a lot of shots down the target line and nearly holed some iron shots out there, but I just couldn’t hole any putts. I got a couple of bobbles. I’m giving myself opportunities and sooner or later I’m going to hole some. I’ve not holed many this week, so I’m due some tomorrow.”

George Coetzee – 71 (-6 total)

“I’m quite surprised the guys haven’t gone away from me. I’ve been battling away the last couple of days, but I’m happy to be in the mix still. I’ve made a few silly errors, but I feel like I’m in a good space and I’m happy with the comeback today. It puts me in good position for tomorrow.

I need birdies tomorrow. There are so many guys in the mix, so you can’t control it. You just have to play good golf.”

Complete third round scores from the Trophee Hassan II (par 72)

209 A McArthur  (Sco) 71 71 67, R Ramsay  (Sco) 72 66 71, R Wattel  (Fra) 68 74 67,

 210 D Horsey (Eng) 70 71 69, E Grillo (Arg) 74 69 67, G Coetzee (RSA) 67 72 71, K Phelan (Irl) 70 70 70, R Bland (Eng) 69 70 71, S Kjeldsen (Den) 68 73 69, J Van Zyl (RSA) 69 71 70,

 211 W Ormsby (Aus) 71 72 68, M Lundberg (Swe) 70 75 66,

 212 B Ritthammer (Ger) 71 70 71, R Cabrera-Bello (Esp) 69 69 74, O Farr (Wal) 70 68 74, S Kapur (Ind) 72 73 67, A Wall (Eng) 68 72 72, P Larrazábal (Esp) 70 69 73, M Orrin (Eng) 70 70 72,

 213 P Edberg (Swe) 71 71 71, A Saddier (Fra) 65 77 71, S Benson (Eng) 73 68 72, C Wood  (Eng) 67 72 74, M Korhonen (Fin) 68 74 71, M Carlsson  (Swe) 73 70 70, A Marshall (Eng) 71 73 69, C Paisley  (Eng) 71 70 72, J Campillo (Esp) 71 69 73, B Evans  (Eng) 69 70 74,

 214 R Karlsson (Swe) 72 74 68, B An (Kor) 72 71 71, T Fleetwood  (Eng) 70 71 73, S Jamieson  (Sco) 74 69 71, M Schneider (Ger) 73 69 72, R Green (Aus) 68 70 76, E Pepperell (Eng) 71 74 69, E De La Riva  (Esp) 68 75 71, G Bourdy (Fra) 75 71 68, O Wilson (Eng) 68 73 73, M Kieffer (Ger) 73 73 68, R Santos  (Por) 69 72 73,

 215 J Lagergren (Swe) 72 68 75, B Hebert  (Fra) 75 71 69, J Walters (RSA) 71 73 71, P Widegren  (Swe) 73 73 69, M Manassero (Ita) 72 71 72, P Oriol (Esp) 71 75 69, J Olazábal (Esp) 69 76 70,

 216 M Lorenzo-Vera  (Fra) 74 72 70, M Foster (Eng) 73 72 71, D Drysdale (Sco) 67 73 76, R Jacquelin (Fra) 70 76 70, M Lampert (Ger) 68 75 73, P Waring  (Eng) 70 74 72,

 217 T Lewis (Eng) 69 77 71, K Broberg (Swe) 73 70 74, J Quesne  (Fra) 70 75 72, D Howell (Eng) 70 70 77, J Morrison  (Eng) 72 73 72,

 218 N Fasth (Swe) 71 73 74, F Fritsch  (Ger) 70 72 76, N Elvira  (Esp) 73 72 73, R Rock (Eng) 74 72 72,

 219 M Hoey  (Nir) 70 73 76, E Espana (Fra) 73 70 76,

 220 C Lloyd (Eng) 76 69 75, M Matsumura (Jpn) 72 74 74, A Johnston (Eng) 72 71 77,

 221 O Fisher  (Eng) 74 71 76,

 222 L Slattery (Eng) 77 69 76,

 223 R Finch  (Eng) 75 71 77,

 228 S Hend (Aus) 71 73 84,

Author: Jhavelka

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