Alejandro Canizares cruises to Agadir win

Spaniard finishes five clear of Englisman Andy Sullivan, Michael Hoey best of Irish on four under

Alejandro Canizares of Spain holds the winners trophy after the final round of the Trophee Hassan II Golf at Golf du Palais Royal   in Agadir, Morocco. Photograph:  Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Alejandro Canizares of Spain holds the winners trophy after the final round of the Trophee Hassan II Golf at Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir, Morocco. Photograph: Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Sun, Mar 16, 2014, 19:23

Spain’s Alejandro Canizares was quick to target further success after cruising to a wire-to-wire victory in the Hassan Trophy on Sunday, his first European Tour title since 2006.

Canizares took a six-shot lead into the final round at Golf du Palais Royal in Agadir and carded a closing 70 to finish 19 under, five clear of England’s Andy Sullivan.

Sullivan charged through the field with a brilliant 63, the 26-year-old from Nuneaton covering the back nine in just 29, including birdies at the final four holes.

England’s Seve Benson birdied the 18th to claim a share of third place with Sweden’s Magnus A Carlsson, who had completed a 68 by holing from off the green on the last for par after a left-handed escape shot from the trees.

Michael Hoey was best of the Irish on four under after closing with a 70, while Shane Lowry and Damien McGrane finished on two over and four over respectively.

Canizares, whose previous victory came in the Russian Open on his third start as an affiliate member, would have won by a greater margin if not for a piece of bad luck on the 18th, where his approach rolled back off the green and up against a clump of turf from a divot that had not been replaced.

The 31-year-old was told by a referee he was not allowed to move the turf and succeeded in moving the ball only a few yards with his third shot before it again rolled back down the slope almost to his feet.

From there he duffed his next pitch but at least allowed himself a wry smile before eventually getting up and down for a double-bogey six.

“It was a pity it ended like that, but who cares? I won the tournament so I am very happy,” Canizares told Sky Sports. “It’s a special moment. I can’t wait to get back home to celebrate with friends and family.

“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. I hit good shot after good shot and kept my focus.

“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.

“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’s second place represents his best finish on the European Tour, his previous best being a share of third in the Alfred Dunhill Championship last season.

“It’s just unbelievable,” said Sullivan, who turned professional shortly after helping Great Britain and Ireland win the 2011 Walker Cup. “I got off to such a good start on the back nine and I managed to keep it going.

“The wind was getting up and there were a few holes into the wind, but that finish was surreal. The putts weren’t too bad, they were within 10 feet. I didn’t hole any bombs.

“I just played great today, I hit the irons really good which I’ve been struggling with all week. I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d be hitting 63 on the last day, that’s for sure.”

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