Mike Lorenzo-Vera, who is in the driving seat with a three-shot lead at the halfway stage in the £6.2 million DP World Tour Championship, already has his eye on the dream car he’d buy if the Frenchman lands the biggest first prize in golf in Dubai tomorrow night.
“Last night I was trying to get it out of my head,” he said of the £2.7m up for grabs in the season-ending event at Jumeirah Golf Estates. “But it did not want to, so I accepted that and went on to the internet to see what car I’d buy if I won. And it would be a Ferrari f12 TdF.”
To achieve his dream of driving through the streets of Montpellier in a motor worth £540,000, the 34-year-old will have to achieve something he has not managed yet in close to 200 appearances on the European Tour, having been second four times but not been able to land that first victory.
After backing up a brilliant nine-under 63 on Thursday with a 69, Lorenzo-Vera sits on 12 under, three in front of Tommy Fleetwood (68) and Jon Rahm (69), with two-time winner Rory McIlroy two further back after following his first-day 64 with a 74.
“It’s going to be stressful because it’s big dogs behind me that are going to try to bite me,” said Lorenzo-Vera, who briefly held a five-shot lead on the back nine before dropping two shots in the final four holes on the Earth Course. “They are big guns, proper big guns and I might not be in their mind.”
After a round that contained seven birdies, in-form Fleetwood jumped above Austrian Bernd Wiesberger in the projected Race to Dubai standings as he bids to be crowned as European No 1 for the second time in three years.
“I feel very prepared for the scenarios that it throws at you, and I’m obviously used to it,” said the Englishman, who won £1.95m for his victory in the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa last weekend and would add another £3.9m here by winning both the event itself and the points battle.
“This is three years in a row where I’ve been in this situation, and whether I win or not, it won’t be down to experience and hopefully it won’t be down to sort of mental misjudgment or doing the wrong things. When I tee off tomorrow, I know what feelings to expect. It’s got to help, really.”
Rahm, the 2017 winner, who can also deny Wiesberger, eagled the last, where McIlroy, having eagled it the previous day, had to settle for a par on this occasion after driving into a stream. “Just didn’t quite have it today,” said the world No 2 after signing for the highest score of the day among the top 25 players on the leaderboard. “There was a lot of into-off-the-right winds, and I was trying to hold them up and losing them left a little bit.”
He headed straight to the range to try to get that sorted, but is hoping it was just one of those days after feeling so confident about his game only 24 hours earlier. “Look, it’s a very fickle game,” he said. “I’ve always said that one day it can seem very easy and someone up there says, ‘no, not so fast’, and brings you back down to earth. That’s golf.
“I battled through it and I’m still in with a shout to have a go at winning this tournament. Just need to stick the head down over the weekend and get in there and try to shoot a couple good scores.”
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