Updated: Sunday, 16 March 2014 02:36 | By Agence France-Presse

Canizares pulls clear in Morocco

Alejandro Canizares pulled six shots clear of the chasing pack after the third round of the Trophee Hasan II on Saturday to close in on his first European title since 2006.

Canizares pulls clear in Morocco

Alejandro Canizares of Spain plays during the DP World Tour Golf Championship in the Gulf emirate of Dubai on November 16, 2013 - by Marwan Naamani

The Spaniard, who held a one-stroke lead from England's Seve Benson overnight at the Golf du Palais Royal, shot a three under par 69 for a 17 under par total of 199.

Benson carded a 74 to lie second, one shot clear of Robert-Jan Derksen of the Netherlands with Sweden's Magnus Carlsson in a five-way tie for third, two shots further away.

Canizares, whose last win came in the Russian Open, told Sky Sports: "It was tough today, especially on the front nine the pins were difficult to get close to and some even difficult to two-putt.

"My idea was to get to 20 under, that was my focus. I was trying to look forward all the time not behind me. It was a pity I started missing some shots right at the end and I could not take advantage of the par fives on the back nine."

He was careful not to be tricked into believing victory was a foregone conclusion, adding: "In this game anything can happen. Everybody saw that you can go low on this golf course, I have to keep going forward and do the best I can on every shot."

Benson, seeking his debut European Tour title, said he had struggled to get the ball "pin-high today".

Of his plan to overhaul Canizares in Sunday's final round he said: "The key will be to try to get a couple of shots back on Alejandro on the front nine, because that is the most difficult part of the course."

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