Corfield Takes Command In Casablanca.

Lee Corfield carded an unblemished five-under 66 to take the outright lead going into the final round of the MENA Tour’s season-opening Palmeraie Country Club Casablanca Open on Wednesday.

The 35-year- old Englishman, who opened with a 68, reeled off four birdies on the front nine and one more coming home to reach eight-under for the tournament, one ahead of his compatriot Stuart Archibald and two clear of overnight leader Luke Joy, who returned a second round 70.

Lee Corfield leads after two days in 2017 MENA Tour opener in Casablanca.

Lee Corfield leads after two days in 2017 MENA Tour opener in Casablanca.

Morocco’s Younes El Hassani, Jack McDonald of Scotland and Leo Lilja of Spain shared fourth on five-under 137 as three shots separated the top seven, promising a thrilling finish coming down the stretch on Thursday.

“Played pretty good on the front nine and scrambled very well coming in. It was tricky out there because of the wind, but overall I am really pleased with my day’s work and looking forward to the final round,” said Corfield, a four-time winner on the MENA Tour.

Seeking his maiden win on the tour, Archibald also hauled himself into contention with a tidy 66, picking up two shots on the front nine and three on the back.

“It feels nice to post a bogey-free round early in the season which shows my game is in good shape. I drove the ball well and hit some nice iron shots,” said Archibald, who was placed tied fifth overnight after opening with a 69.

“I did hit a few errant shots, but managed to get away with them with some good up-and-downs and that kept the round going and ticking over.

“The course is really good this week. It’s quite long with firm fairways. There is not too much rough out there, but it’s well bunkered. If you miss the fairways, you can get punished. The greens are nice to putt on which is great. This course is really a good addition to the Moroccan swing.

Morocco’s El Hassani matched the day’s best score of a 66 to keep alive his chances of a breakthrough win on the tour. “I am striking the ball really well. Holed some good putts out there.

“If I can keep the momentum rolling into the final round, I think I stand good chance to get the job done,” said the experienced El Hassani, who leads the MENA Division by a good four shots over his fellow countrymen Faycal Serghini and Ahmed-Reda Rhazali.

Elsewhere, England’s Andrew Marshall shot back-to- back 71s to take a share of 16 th on level par while Joshua White, the 2014 MENA Tour Order of Merit champion, moved into a tie for eighth on one under after carding a second round 72 as Netherland’s Pierre

Junior Verlaar stayed on top in the amateur division after a second round 71, a good five shots ahead of Todd Clements of England.

The cut was made at three over 145 with 54 professionals and 10 amateurs making it to the final round. Among the notables who missed out on the final round included Zane Scotland (four over), former England cricketer Craig Kieswetter (seven over) and Danny Poulter (six over).

 



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