Canizares cruises to 5-shot win in Morocco

03/16/2014 12:38 PM

03/16/2014 2:06 PM

Agadir, Morocco (SportsNetwork.com) - Alejandro Canizares stumbled to a double-bogey on his final hole Sunday, but it did nothing more than trim his winning margin to five strokes at the Trophee Hassan II.

Canizares closed with a 2-under 70 to finish at 19-under-par 269. The victory was his second on the European Tour.

"It's been a long time since the last win. It felt like it was never coming, but this week I played great, some of the best golf of my career," Canizares stated. "I hit good shot after good shot and kept my focus."

Andy Sullivan fired a 9-under 63 at Golf du Palais Royal to jump into second place at minus-14. Magnus A. Carlsson (68) and Seve Benson (71) tied for third at 12-under 276.

Rafael Cabrera-Bello closed with a 5-under 67, which gave him a share of fifth at minus-11. He was joined there by Richard Bland and Wade Ormsby, who both closed with 68s.

Canizares got off to a slow start as he bogeyed the second and parred three of his first four. He bounced back with a birdie on the par-5 fifth and that pushed his lead back to six strokes.

As he parred the next three, Canizares' lead grew to eight. Benson and Carlsson tried to narrow the gap, but Canizares birdied nine and 10.

The 2006 Russian Open winner was still seven clear at that point. Canizares moved to 20-under and eight clear of the field with a birdie on the 12th.

Sullivan polished off his round with four consecutive birdies to cut into Canizares' lead. The Spaniard wrapped birdies at 15 and 17 around a bogey on the 16th.

Canizares, who went wire-to-wire for the win, stumbled to a double-bogey at the last to cut his winning margin from seven to five strokes.

"I was very accurate and solid with my irons. I left myself lots of chances and although I did not make all of them, the first day was the key. I putted great the first day, shot 10-under and just kept pushing on," Canizares said. "Hopefully this is the first step for a little bit of improvement in my career. I have some stuff to work on and hopefully I improve little by little to the point where I can play golf as naturally as I did this week."

Sullivan birdied the first, but gave that shot back when he bogeyed the third. He came back with birdies on four and six to move to 7-under.

After three straight pars, Sullivan ran off three straight birdies from the 10th before closing with four birdies in a row to grab second place.

NOTES: Canizares collected 250,000 euros for the win ... He will improve some 40 spots in the world rankings ... Soren Kjeldsen had a hole-in-one on the par-3 second ... The European Tour is off next week, but returns in two weeks with a new event, the EURASIA Cup.

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