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Page last updated at 18:26 GMT, Saturday, 20 March 2010

Louis Oosthuizen leads Rhys Davies in Morocco

THIRD ROUND LEADERBOARD:
-20 L Oosthuizen (RSA) -18 R Davies (Wal) -16 T Aiken (RSA), T Levet (Fra)
-15 I Garrido (Spn) -14 D Willett (Eng) -13 R Rock (Eng) Selected others: -11 N Dougherty (Eng), G Maybin (NI), -9 Peter Lawrie (Ire), S Gallacher (Sco)
-7 S Dodd (Wal) -6 P Broadhurst (Eng)-5 D Clarke (NI), D Howell (Eng)


Louis Oosthuizen
Oosthuizen's best finish this season was fifth in Abu Dhabi

South African Louis Oosthuizen fired a second successive 64 to take a two-shot lead over Rhys Davies into the final round of the Hassan II Trophy in Rabat.

Oosthuizen, 27, sank 10 birdies on his way to a 20-under-par total, while overnight leader Davies, from Wales, shot a 68 to remain in contention.

Thomas Levet (68) and Thomas Aiken (67) were a further two strokes back.

England's Danny Willett carded nine birdies to match Oosthuizen's round of the day and reached 14 under in sixth.

Oosthuizen, who has three runners-up finishes but has yet to win a European Tour title, divided his 10 birdies equally over the front and back nine.

And the 27-year-old believes a combination of big hitting and steadier-than-usual putting could see him clinch his maiden win on Sunday.

"My ball striking was good, and I hit it a bit further than I did on Friday," said Oosthuizen, whose only blip was a bogey on the 17th.

"I was quite focussed out there, and I know I was swinging it well.

"I can be hot and cold with the putter but I am finding more consistency in the greens now and reading the putts better, especially here where it feels more like South Africa with the weather as it is.

"I am very happy with such a strong position. I haven't done a lot going in with a lead before but I am playing well enough so it's up to me to enjoy it."

Challenge Tour graduate Davies, who finished in a tie for third at the Malaysian Open a fortnight ago, got off to a flying start as he picked up a shot on the first.

606: DEBATE

Six more birdies followed for the 24-year-old but bogeys on the second and the seventh holes ultimately proved the difference between the lead and second spot.

"This is my second week on the bounce of being right in the mix and I'm enjoying it," said Davies.

"It's good to be at the top and good to be playing with these top class players and trying to beat them."

Frenchman Levet went round in 68 and South African Aiken carded a 67 to put them two behind Davies, with Spain's Ignacio Garrido another stroke back after a 69.

Willett, the 2007 English amateur champion, fired a bogey-free 64 to give himself a chance of his third top-10 finish of the year.

The 22-year-old was sixth in the Malaysian Open and tied for fourth in January's Joburg Open.

"I've been playing well for a few weeks now and everything went my way today and I hit it really well," said former amateur world number one Willett.

Robert Rock was another Englishman in form, rising eight places up the leaderboard thanks to his second successive 67 to lie seven shots off the pace.

Northern Ireland's Gareth Maybin notched eight birdies for a 66 to go 11 under overall - the same total as first-round pacesetter Nick Dougherty, who continued to slide after a 72.

Like the third round, Sunday's final round will be played on the Royal Golf Dar Es Salam's red course. The opening two rounds - a pro-am - were played on both the red and the supposedly easier blue course.



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see also
Davies surges into Morocco lead
19 Mar 10 |  Golf
Dougherty blazes trail in Morocco
18 Mar 10 |  Golf
Golf on the BBC
01 Jul 11 |  Golf


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