RABAT, Morocco (AP) — A birdie on the last hole gave Alvaro Quiros a one-shot lead to take into the final round of the Trophee Hassan II.
Quiros’ birdie four on No. 18 allowed the Spanish golfer to sign for a level-par 72 on Saturday to stay at 7 under overall and clear of four players queued up in second place.
South African pair Erik van Rooyen and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, France’s Alexander Levy, and Finland’s Mikko Ilonen were just a shot behind on 6 under heading into the last day at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in Rabat.
Quiros is a seven-time winner on the European Tour but went six years without a victory until last year and his triumph at the Rocco Forte Open in Italy.
He’s seeking a wire-to-wire victory in Morocco after sharing the first-round lead with Bradley Dredge before taking it outright on day two.
Quiros had an on-off day in the third round — he said it was “suddenly great shot, suddenly not so good” — and carded four birdies and four bogeys to come out level and still hold onto his lead.
Van Rooyen shot 71, Bezuidenhout 68, Levy a 69, and Ilonen the best round of the week so far with his 6-under 66.
Ilonen had seven birdies and just a single bogey — on his first hole — to leap 23 places up the leaderboard and into contention for a first tour title since 2014 when he won the World Match Play Championship.