Davies, Horsey share lead in Morocco

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, Last Updated: 2:47 PM ET

Agadir, Morocco - Defending champion Rhys Davies and David Horsey share the third-round lead of the Hassan II Golf Trophy at 10-under-par 205.

Davies, whose first title came at this event in 2010, posted a four-under 68 at the par-72 Golf du Palais Royal on Saturday, while Horsey recorded a five- under 67. Both players are seeking their second EPGA title.

Davies, who had eight birdies and four bogeys, has his third career third- round lead, but failed to convert either of the first two. Last year, he overcome a two-stroke deficit in the final round to top Louis Oosthuizen for his first win on tour.

"So far, so good," Davies said. "I've played pretty well the last few days, and I'm pretty happy to be at the top of the leaderboard. I'm looking forward to a good battle tomorrow."

Horsey, who had an eagle, five birdies and two bogeys, has never held the lead after the third round and last won on tour at the 2010 BMW International Open.

Jaco Van Zyl was one stroke off the course record, posting a 65 on Saturday to move to minus-nine, good for sole possession of third. George Coetzee (69) and Mikko Ilonen (69) are tied for fourth at eight-under 207.

Second-round co-leader Joost Luiten fell back to a share of sixth after a 71 put him at minus-seven for the tournament. He was joined there by Lloyd Saltman (69).

Davies and Horsey were both in the final grouping, and Horsey got off to a fast start, while Davies began slowly.

Both players birdied the first and bogeyed the second, and Horsey moved into the lead when he birdied the third from three feet and Davies bogeyed the same hole.

Davies pulled even with Horsey at minus-six after a birdie at the fifth, but the sixth proved to be a huge swing hole in the early going. Horsey made the shot of the day with a hole-out eagle from 130 yards away at the par-four, while Davies stumbled to his third bogey of the day.

The shot gave Horsey a three-stroke lead over his playing partner, and he increased it to four with a birdie at the seventh.

"I got off to a great start by holing my second shot on the sixth and then birdied the seventh to really get myself into contention," Horsey said.

Coetzee made a run into the lead after an eagle and third birdies on the first five holes, but his advantage was short-lived after three birdies and five bogeys in the last 13 holes.

Just before the turn, Davies caught fire to make up the four-stroke gap.

A putt from the fringe on eight dropped for a birdie, and he added another birdie at the ninth to make the turn at minus-seven, two shots behind Horsey.

Both players birdied the 11th, and Davies caught up with consecutive birdies at the 13th and 14th. Davies drilled a 15-foot birdie putt at the 13th to pull within one and hit his tee shot at the par-three 14th to six feet to get to 10-under.

Horsey chipped in for birdie at the 15th to go back ahead, and it appeared he would take sole possession of first into Sunday after Davies' bogey at 16 created a two-stroke gap. However, the distance was immediately erased when Davies birdied the 17th and Horsey bogeyed the same hole.

"I was hoping to pick up another shot on the 17th, but that's the game, isn't it?" Horsey asked rhetorically. "You hole out from 130 yards on one hole and then you take four to get down from 20 yards on another -- that's golf."

Van Zyl played the round of the day to get into contention, posting seven birdies without a bogey. He had a chance to tie the course record with a birdie putt on the 18th, but just missed it.

NOTES: Davies is attempting to become the fourth EPGA Tour player to successfully defend his title this season...Horsey had one of two eagles on a par-four in the third round. Michael Hoey, who eagled the 11th, had the other...Van Zyl posted one of two bogey-free rounds on Saturday. Steve Webster, who shot a 68 to get to minus-two, had the other.


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