Mike Lorenzo-Vera extended his lead at the top of the DP World Tour Championship to three shots after posting a three under par 69 while the battle to be crowned Race to Dubai champion heated up after a fascinating day on the Earth course.
The 34 year old picked up where he left off yesterday with back-to-back birdies on the opening two holes, his sixth in a row, to extend his lead early on at Jumeirah Golf Estates.
The 2017 Challenge Tour Rankings champion gave a shot back on the fourth before picking up four more between holes seven and 14. The Frenchman looked to be running away with the tournament but two bogeys on the closing four holes meant he had to settle for a 12 under par total after two days of action.
“I’m very pleased,” said Lorenzo Vera. “I managed to hit the ball where I wanted even though it was tricky with the wind blowing. The last three holes are tough but my game was solid. I hit some really pure shots, and holed a few momentum putts. Tactically, I know what I have to do, and I know that the winds are going to be different this weekend.”
Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and Spaniard Jon Rahm sit in a share of second after rounds of 68 and 69 respectively in the emirate.
With both players also in the hunt for the Race to Dubai title the tournament is set for a thrilling weekend of golfing action, and if the action were to finish as it stands after 36 holes, with current Rankings leader Bernd Wiesberger just outside the top ten in tied 13th on three under par, Fleetwood would seal the Harry Vardon Trophy for the second time in three years.
“I’m trying to stay in the moment and take each shot as it comes,” said the 2018 Ryder Cup star. “There’s a lot going on over the weekend with a lot of different scenarios and players in the mix for the Race to Dubai title.
“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 is the real challenge over the weekend.”
England’s Tom Lewis occupies fourth on seven under par while Thomas Pieters, Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Rory McIlroy are a shot further back in tied fifth. Two-time tournament winner McIlroy failed to replicate his superb form in round one as he posted a two over par 74 to sit six shots off the lead heading into moving day.
Meanwhile, George Groves leads the way in the inaugural EDGA Dubai Finale after carding a five over par 77 on the same course setup as the Race to Dubai top 50. Christopher Biggins is three shots back in solo second while Brendan Lawlor and Chad Pfeifer sit in a share of third place on eleven over par.
Round three of the DP World Tour Championship commences at 8.35am.