DP World Tour Championship, Dubai R2

Lorenzo-Vera three clear of Race to Dubai rivals

November 21-24
Jumeirah Golf Estates, Dubai, United Arab Emirates
US$8,000,000
Live leaderboard
Round 1. Round 3, Round 4


Mike Lorenzo-Vera extended his one shot overnight advantage to hold a three stroke lead over Race to Dubai rivals Tommy Fleetwood and Jon Rahm at the halfway mark of the European Tour’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship, Dubai.

DP WTC Dubai R2 - Lorenzo-Vera three clear of rivals
Credit: Getty Images

The Frenchman, who played alongside World Number Two Rory McIlroy, opened his second round with back-to-back birdies on his way to carding a three under par round of 69 in the eighth and final Rolex Series event of 2019. He had briefly held a five shot lead on the back nine after his sixth birdie of the day on the 14th hole, but while the 34 year old dropped shots on the 15th and 18th holes to finish on 12 under par at Jumeirah Golf Estates, he remains in pole position to win the $3million first prize – the richest in tournament golf.

“I’m very pleased. Managed to hit the ball where I wanted to more or less. It was tricky and the wind was blowing pretty solid. In the end, it’s a solid end. The last three are tough, I think. So the game was solid. I hit some really pure shots and holed a few momentums.

“I’ve played with [McIlroy] a few times in competition and I struggled with him in the beginning because I was trying to over play. That was the game plan today. Don’t look at him. He’s going to hit bombs. He’s going to hit incredible iron shots sky high and stuff, and that’s not my game. Actually, I wasn’t too far from him all day long, so I was pretty happy about that.


“It’s just the game. I’ve got a three shot lead and it’s better than three shots behind. Just going to be stressful because it’s big dogs behind me that are going to try to bite me, so it’s going to be interesting.”

Ryder Cup players Fleetwood and Rahm, both of whom are bidding to overhaul Race to Dubai leader Bernd Wiesberger, are both on nine under par after respective rounds of 68 and 69.

“Good day. Played really, really well. Stayed very patient. Felt like I did a really good job after the fourth of just playing really good, solid golf. It wasn’t easy today,” said Fleetwood. “The wind really picked up. I think anything under par would have been a really solid day, so four under, I’m happy with.

“It’s just a classic case really of trying to stay in the moment and each shot as it comes. There’s a lot going on over the weekend. There’s a lot of different scenarios and players in the mix.

There’s a lot of things going on around you, so the more internally focused you can be and the more you can just stay in your bubble, it will just be a great challenge going into the weekend trying to do that.”

Rahm had double bogeyed the eighth hole and was two over par heading to the ninth tee, but the Spaniard birdied that hole and picked up four more shots on the back nine, including an eagle on the last, to share second place with Fleetwood, who posted his seventh birdie of the day on the final hole.

“It did not look good. The only reason why I wasn’t in a better position was my putter, I felt odd all day. I missed quite a few short putts early on, first hole and seven, and then a little mishap on eight. I was still feeling good. I knew I was hitting it good and I knew the course was going to be a little tougher on that stretch of 12, 13 on the back nine. I knew if I could make a few birdies, catch up to the lead.

“Adam (Rahm’s caddie) and I agreed, we were walking down on nine and just said, “let’s get to even par before 14, and then 14 through 18, some birdie holes try to catch up”, and that was the mission. Made a great birdie on nine and kept trying with a lot of good putts, a lot of good tries.”

Austrian Wiesberger carded 17 pars and just the solitary birdie on the 11th hole for a round of 71. He lies nine shots off the pace in a four-way tie for 13th position on three under par, meaning that as it stands, Fleetwood, who won last week’s Rolex Series event, the Nedbank Golf Challenge Hosted by Gary Player, would win the Race to Dubai.

“I played so well in the big tournaments when I was in position, that I feel quite comfortable regardless what’s thrown at me,” said Wiesberger. “We have so many good players out here all capable of being in my position. Just cherish being the one who has tried to be hunted down. Try to do the best we can and enjoy it as much as we can.

“As I’ve said, you don’t know how many times you get in a position, and when you are, it’s a great feeling. So hopefully we get to finish the season stronger with another couple of good rounds and we’ll see what happens then.”

Four-time Major Champion McIlroy double bogeyed the sixth hole in his two over par round of 74, but the Northern Irishman remains a threat six shots back in a share of fifth place on six under par, with the DP World Tour Championship, the Rolex Series and the Race to Dubai all set for a fascinating finale this weekend.


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DP World Tour Rankings

Golf Ranking
By GT Editor
Pos.
Player
Nat
To Par
R1
R2
Total
1
Michael Lorenzo-Vera
FRA
-12
63
69
132
T2
Tommy Fleetwood
ENG
-9
67
68
135
T2
Jon Rahm
ESP
-9
66
69
135
4
Tom Lewis
ENG
-7
67
70
137
T5
Christiaan Bezuidenhout
RSA
-6
71
67
138
T5
Thomas Pieters
BEL
-6
70
68
138
T5
Rory McIlroy
NIR
-6
64
74
138
T8
Justin Rose
ENG
-5
69
70
139
T8
Marcus Kinhult
SWE
-5
68
71
139
T10
Louis Oosthuizen
RSA
-4
70
70
140
T10
Adria Arnaus
ESP
-4
70
70
140
T10
Thomas Detry
BEL
-4
69
71
140
T13
Shane Lowry
IRL
-3
73
68
141
T13
Bernd Wiesberger
AUT
-3
70
71
141
T13
Danny Willett
ENG
-3
69
72
141
T13
Rafael Cabrera Bello
ESP
-3
68
73
141
T17
Patrick Reed
USA
-2
74
68
142
T17
Matthew Fitzpatrick
ENG
-2
71
71
142
T17
Matthias Schwab
AUT
-2
69
73
142
T20
Guido Migliozzi
ITA
-1
73
70
143
T20
Lee Westwood
ENG
-1
73
70
143
T20
David Lipsky
USA
-1
72
71
143
T20
Erik Van Rooyen
RSA
-1
71
72
143
T20
Jason Scrivener
AUS
-1
71
72
143
T20
Richard Sterne
RSA
-1
71
72
143
T26
Aaron Rai
ENG
Par
75
69
144
T26
Henrik Stenson
SWE
Par
74
70
144
T26
Sergio Garcia
ESP
Par
71
73
144
T26
Matt Wallace
ENG
Par
70
74
144
T26
Benjamin Hebert
FRA
Par
70
74
144
T26
Andy Sullivan
ENG
Par
70
74
144
T32
Joost Luiten
NED
1
74
71
145
T32
Jorge Campillo
ESP
1
73
72
145
T32
Robert MacIntyre
SCO
1
71
74
145
T32
Romain Langasque
FRA
1
71
74
145
T32
Francesco Molinari
ITA
1
69
76
145
T37
Matthew Southgate
ENG
2
75
71
146
T37
Victor Perez
FRA
2
73
73
146
T37
Justin Harding
RSA
2
73
73
146
T37
Paul Casey
ENG
2
73
73
146
T37
Kurt Kitayama
USA
2
71
75
146
T37
Haotong Li
CHN
2
69
77
146
T43
Joachim B. Hansen
DEN
3
74
73
147
T43
Jordan Smith
ENG
3
74
73
147
T45
Mikko Korhonen
FIN
4
72
76
148
T45
Paul Waring
ENG
4
71
77
148
47
Ian Poulter
ENG
6
74
76
150
T48
Andrea Pavan
ITA
7
77
74
151
T48
Scott Hend
AUS
7
76
75
151
50
Tyrrell Hatton
ENG
8
73
79
152