Hanson hits the front to close on first European Tour win


Chris Hanson has a great opportunity to secure a maiden European Tour title as a superb five-under par 67 left him one shot clear ahead of the final round of the Trophee Hassan II.

The Englishman, a graduate of the Tour's Qualifying School, has never placed higher than 39th in a European Tour event but he shot up the leaderboard after round three to move clear at six under in Morocco. 

Hanson made three birdies in the first 10 holes and a chip shot at the 12th dropped after hitting the pin to put him in front.

Bogeys at 13 and 17 hindered his progress, but on both occasions he responded with a birdie and Hanson is now on the cusp of the biggest win of his career.

"I felt I got rewarded for some good golf," he said. "It was a little bit of a lucky chip - it hit the flag and dropped - but you need those sort of things and hopefully it will set me up for a nice Sunday."

Compatriot David Dixon carded seven birdies and two bogeys to sign for the same score, and he is in a tie for second with Frenchman Clement Berardo, who hit a four-under 68.

Overnight leader Francesco Laporta had a day to forget, though. The Italian endured a miserable round - including a double-bogey six at 13 - as a four-over-par 76 saw him drop to sixth.

He is in a cluster of seven players, along with first-round joint-leader Jason Scrivener, on two under par for the tournament.

Joshua White and Jeunghun Wang are in contention, the former is two off the pace in fourth while the latter is one stroke and one place further behind.