Sixty-nine seems to be Roger Chapman’s favourite number as he rattled off his third consecutive four-under par round at the King Hassan II Trophy in Morocco. He leads by three shots heading into the final round of the $515,000 event.
Chapman started the day on 8-under par around the Dar Es Salam course, holding a one shot lead over American David Sutherland and extended his lead with a birdie at the first hole.
|The “Dodge” is looking for his biggest payday|
The lead became three shots after another birdie at the par-five fifth and with a 6-iron to ten feet at the ninth hole, Chapman converted the putt to consolidate his lead.
The Englishman dropped his first shot of the day at the long par four 11th and Sutherland chased him home with a fortuitous birdie at the short 15th hole after his ball bounced off the top of the bunker and rolled up to eight feet.
But the 41-year-old Chapman, who won his first professional event in April at the Brazil Open, bounced back after he birdied the final par five as rival Sutherland bogied.
$100,000 awaits the winner, along with the traditional Jeweled dagger presented by King Mohammed VI of Morocco, son of the late King Hassan II, founder of the tournament and self-confessed golf addict!
Chapman is only 18-holes away from his second win both as a professional and this year and if he needs any more motivation, the first place money would be his biggest paycheque of a 19-year career as a professional.
Germany’s Elizabeth Esterl created a gap between herself and her chasers after a solid 1-under par performance around the Dar Es Salam course but she maintained that her putting was poor in relation to her iron play.
|Elizabeth Esterl. Picture: Robert Walker|
Esterl, chasing her first ever win as a professional takes a three shot lead into the final round over England’s Lora Fairclough and four shots over Cheshire’s Joanne Morley.
Esterl’s putter was hot on the front nine and took advantage of two great three woods at the par five fifth hole. She blasted to ten feet and holed the putt for an eagle three to extend her lead over the field by six shots. And with a birdie to follow at the next the lead was seven shots.
But Fairclough fought back with birdies at the tenth, 12th, 14th and 18th to reduce Esterl’s lead to just three and apply some pressure on the German number one ladies golfer.
Fairclough carded a best of the day 70 in the Princess Lalla Hasna Trophy to close the gap on the German player and hopes to defend her title successfully.
Morley fired a 2-under par 71 in a flawless round of golf with just two birdies, one on each nine.
Esterl, who turned professional in 1998 has not won since the 1995 Italian Amateur Open. But she is happy and comfortable in the position she holds and is looking forward to winning her first professional event.
“I am very happy with the way things are right now” Said Esterl. “It was very good early on in the round and I hope I can take that kind of play into tomorrow.”