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Dawson slips back at Lalla Aicha Challenge Tour

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Robin Dawson slipped further back on day three of the Lalla Aïcha Challenge Tour in Morocco as he signed for a 74 to go along with his opening 64 and second round 79.

Dawson, who had been the tournament leader after round one, now finds himself in a tie for 53rd place some 12 shots off the pace set by Sweden’s Joel Sjöholm who chipped in from the back of the 18th green to maintain his position at the top of the leaderboard alongside Jack Senior.

Sjöholm, who has been struggling with illness throughout the week, carded a one under par round of 71 at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam to head into the final round on ten under par alongside Englishman Senior, who jumped back into contention with an impressive four under par round of 68 on moving day.

Currently occupying 19th position on the Road to Mallorca Rankings, Sjöholm now goes in search of his second European Challenge Tour title but admits he will need to improve his game if he is to clinch his first win since the 2017 Italian Challenge Open after a testing third day in Morocco.

“It’s been a horrible week for me,” he said. “I’ve had a virus and I’ve been basically sleeping for the whole week.

“I’m very pleased to be under par, this golf course is a tough one. You have to play strategically, be aggressive and do everything right. If you don’t, it takes you apart piece by piece.

“It was a tough day out there. I made an amazing up-and-down on 17, after managing to get a par out of the hazard on the 16th. Then on the 18th, I hit a great third shot into the pin, but the greens are so firm and I ended up in the rough over the green.

“Somehow, I don’t know how, but the chip managed to go in, so I am definitely happy to be under par today because it very easily could have been two over. It has been a complete headache for me from tee one until I signed the scorecard, so I’m going to need to go out there and hit more fairways and greens tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Senior is eyeing his second Challenge Tour victory this season following his triumph at Galgorm Castle in the ISPS Handa World Invitational Men | Women, Presented by Modest! Golf Management as he looks to cement his European Tour card for the 2020 season.

“I felt like I recovered well from yesterday,” he said. “I went out there with a different game plan today, playing a little more conservatively off the tee which paid off. I actually ended up scoring well on the holes I struggled with yesterday.

“You just need to get on a good run, which I managed to do on the back nine today and you’re always happy to shoot four under on a Saturday to get you into the mix.

“I’ve been in this situation a few times before and you’ve just got to try and draw off those positions but it’s never easy to win. I’m just looking forward to tomorrow and we’ll see what happens.”

The pair sit one shot clear of Danish teenager Rasmus Højgaard, who posted six birdies and just the one dropped shot in his five under par round of 67.

Meanwhile, Dutchman Wil Besseling carded a spectacular nine under par round of 63 to jump into a share of fourth position on eight under par alongside second round leader Antoine Rozner, who remains in contention for his third Challenge Tour win of the season despite carding a two over par 74 in round three.

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