Keith finding form in Morocco

At the Trophee Hassan II, Keith Horne shot 69 at Golf du Palais Royal and found the kind of form which won him the Telkom PGA Championship a month ago as he moved into a first-round share of 10th.

It was not the seven-under-par 65 of leader Damien McGrane, but Horne’s 69 included six birdies and set Horne into an eight-way share of 10th, alongside countryman Hennie Otto.

Horne had a quiet front nine and he carded just one birdie through the front stretch, which came at the fifth. A drop just before the turn, at the par-four ninth, caused him to turn at level-par.

The back stretch saw Horne take a more aggressive approach, and he was rewarded for it, starting with a pair of birdies at the 10th and 11th.

The second and final drop of his round came at the par-four 13th, but Horne barely flinched and went to make birdies at the 15th and 17th, which are the final two par fives at the Moroccan course.

It was a solid back stretch for Horne, who went round the second loop in 33, and if he continues to produce sub-70 rounds with the consistency he has achieved in the past, he may yet find himself competing for a second victory early into the 2012 season.

Otto’s card told a slightly different story – by the time he reached the 18th tee he was five-under and looked set to hold second place overnight. But a disappointing double-drop at the par-four closing hole halted Otto’s run and left him to share 10th.

A stroke back was Sunshine Tour veteran James Kingston, who shot a respectable two-under-par 70 to hold a share of 18th.

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