John Catlin is one round away from his third Asian Tour victory of the season, and second International Series title, after taking the third-round lead in the US$2million International Series Morocco today.

The American, who currently leads the Asian Tour Order of Merit and sits second on The International Series Rankings, posted a third-round five-under-par 68 to lead on 14-under by one from New Zealand’s Ben Campbell.

Campbell, last year’s Hong Kong Open champion, also fired a 68 – remarkably going 105 holes, which is five rounds and six holes, without a bogey on the Asian Tour.

Spaniard Eugenio Chacarra was another to card a 68 and is one shot further behind, here on the challenging Red Course at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam in the capital Rabat.

Catlin has led the tournament for each of the first three days and rarely put a foot wrong today. He bogeyed the first but then made six birdies, narrowly missing an eight-foot eagle putt on the driveable par-four 17th.

Said the 33-year-old Californian: “I would say I’m in pretty good control. You know I would have liked to start the round off a bit better, but after that I feel like I played some very, very solid golf and built some good momentum going into tomorrow.”

He won the International Series Macau presented by Wynn and the Saudi Open presented by PIF back-to-back earlier this year, and recently made a fine debut on the LIV Golf League, finishing joint 24th in Houston, and tied seventh in Nashville. Asked if winning The International Series Rankings – he is currently in second place behind Mexican Carlos Ortiz – to earn a place on LIV Golf next season is a target, he promptly replied: “Oh 100%!

“You know, it’s definitely a goal of mine, but you got 18 holes to go tomorrow. So, I’m just going to take it one shot at a time, give it everything I have got, and we’ll see what happens.”

Campbell last dropped a shot on the 12th hole in the second round of International Series Macau presented by Wynn in March, and he drained a number of long par putts today to maintain a clean sheet.

“I got off to a good start out there,” said the Kiwi, aged 32.

“The swing was feeling great. I sort of battled a little bit through the middle part of the round and had a few chances coming in but good to be there in contention. Got a few things to tidy up ahead of tomorrow but it’s good when you’re near the lead.”

Chacarra will be in the final pairing tomorrow with Catlin and Campbell thanks to birdies on 17 and 18, meaning three champions on The International Series going out in the final group.

The winner of last year’s St Andrews Bay Championship said: “My goal is to win. Obviously, everyone here wants to win. There’s a lot of good players so it’s going to be tough, but I’m happy with it.

“I’ve not been healthy for the last year, so to be able to compete again and feel my body good is something that feels really nice. So, I’m excited to play again. I’m happy again. Just going to try to enjoy tomorrow. Hopefully I drop some putts and I have a chance to win again.”

Australian Travis Smyth fired a 70, helped by an eagle on 17, and is in sole possession of fourth, three back from Catlin.

Italian Stefano Mazzoli (67), Pat Perez of the United States (68) and fellow countryman Caleb Surratt (68) are another stroke behind along with Miguel Tabuena (71) of the Philippines.


Scores after round 3 of the International Series Morocco being played at the par 73, 7596 Yards Royal Golf Dar ES Salam course (am – denotes amateur):
205 – John Catlin (USA) 66-71-68.
206 – Ben Campbell (NZL) 68-70-68.
207 – Eugenio Chacarra (ESP) 68-71-68.
208 – Travis Smyth (AUS) 69-69-70.
209 – Stefano Mazzoli (ITA) 73-69-67, Pat Perez (USA) 70-71-68, Caleb Surratt (USA) 72-69-68, Miguel Tabuena (PHI) 67-71-71.
210 – Yurav Premlall (RSA) 72-71-67, Charlie Lindh (SWE) 69-71-70, Gaganjeet Bhullar (IND) 70-68-72.
211 – Rayhan Thomas (IND) 69-73-69.
212 – Branden Grace (RSA) 75-69-68, Hongtaek Kim (KOR) 70-73-69, Jeunghun Wang (KOR) 74-69-69, Jinichiro Kozuma (JPN) 68-70-74.
213 – Junghwan Lee (KOR) 71-72-70, Scott Vincent (ZIM) 68-71-74.
214 – Sanghyun Park (KOR) 70-74-70, Gunn Charoenkul (THA) 72-72-70, Kazuma Kobori (NZL) 66-77-71, Trevor Simsby (USA) 72-70-72, Taichi Kho (HKG) 68-74-72, Phachara Khongwatmai (THA) 69-72-73.
215 – Varun Chopra (IND) 71-74-70, Kieran Vincent (ZIM) 72-72-71, Liu Yanwei (CHN) 68-75-72, Chonlatit Chuenboonngam (THA) 70-73-72, Berry Henson (USA) 72-71-72, Veer Ahlawat (IND) 70-76-69, Minhyeok Yang (KOR) 72-70-73, Jaco Ahlers (RSA) 70-71-74, Kosuke Hamamoto (THA) 70-76-69, Ahmad Baig (PAK) 71-69-75.
216 – Lee Chieh-po (TPE) 73-71-72, Rashid Khan (IND) 70-75-71, Poom Saksansin (THA) 70-75-71, Jose Toledo (GTM) 72-71-73, Chanmin Jung (KOR) 71-72-73, Jaewoong Eom (KOR) 74-72-70, Yeongsu Kim (KOR) 69-77-70, Angus Flanagan (ENG) 74-72-70.
217 – Ian Snyman (RSA) 71-73-73, Douglas Klein (AUS) 74-71-72, Denwit Boriboonsub (THA) 71-72-74, Wade Ormsby (AUS) 71-75-71, Sihwan Kim (USA) 73-73-71, Nitithorn Thippong (THA) 77-69-71.
218 – Justin Quiban (PHI) 72-72-74, Suteepat Prateeptienchai (THA) 73-72-73, Hung Chien-yao (TPE) 72-73-73, Peter Uihlein (USA) 74-72-72, Pavit Tangkamolprasert (THA) 72-74-72, Atiruj Winaicharoenchai (THA) 76-70-72, Lachlan Barker (AUS) 72-74-72, David Drysdale (SCO) 72-74-72.
219 – Leo Oyo (JPN) 71-74-74, Sadom Kaewkanjana (THA) 70-75-74, Jazz Janewattananond (THA) 73-73-73, Harrison Crowe (AUS) 76-70-73, Sebastien Gros (FRA) 68-74-77, Davis Bryant (USA) 74-72-73, Lloyd Jefferson Go (PHI) 72-74-73, Ervin Chang (MAS) 77-69-73.
220 – Matthew Cheung (HKG) 73-73-74.
221 – William Harrold (ENG) 71-75-75, James Leow (SIN) 72-74-75.
223 – Sarit Suwannarut (THA) 69-76-78.
225 – Justin Warren (AUS) 74-72-79.

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