News - Lorenzo-Vera leads the way

Valderrama Hoyo 17 © Golffoto.es
Valderrama Hoyo 17 © Golffoto.es

 

lorenzo-vera leads the way

Saturday April 16, 2016

Tournament: Real Club Valderrama Open de España, Hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation
Venue: Real Club Valderrama
Prize fund: €2million
Hashtag: #opendeespana

Mike Lorenzo-Vera will take a one-shot lead into the final day of the Real Club Valderrama Open de España, Hosted by the Sergio Garcia Foundation as he goes in search of a first European Tour title.

On another day of tough scoring conditions, only Joos tLuiten and Alex Noren managed to record under par rounds as Valderrama threatened to produce the first over par winner of a European Tour event since Justin Rose won the US Open Championship in 2013.

Lorenzo-Vera's level par round of 71 saw him stay at one over par and lead ahead of Luiten, two-time Major Championship winner Martin Kaymer and England's Andrew Johnston.

The Frenchman produced the highlight of the day as he holed his approach to the par five 17th for an eagle to spark a wild celebration and move him two ahead, before a bogey on the last cut the gap.

"I'm very excited," he said. "I'm going to have a big nap tonight because it takes so much energy to stay patient here.

"I'm just going to try to relax and enjoy it as much as I can tomorrow.

The wedge was very hot today. I holed two chips and a shot which is pretty cool - Mike Lorenzo-Vera

"I'm just trying to look at the pace of the leader board and accept that you're going to have a lot of bogeys here. A bogey on the hole is never really a bad score so you just try to accept it. Take the bogey and get out of there."

The 31 year old was number one on The Challenge Tour in 2007 and enjoyed his best ever European Tour season last term, finishing 78th on The Race to Dubai, but he will face a tough challenge on Sunday.

Dutchman Luiten is the only player in the field with two under par rounds this week and already has four top tens to his name this season, while Kaymer is an 11-time winner on The European Tour.

Johnston has held the lead on several occasions this week and will be brimming with confidence as he goes in search of a first European Tour win.

Defending champion James Morrison signed for a 74 to sit at three over alongside fellow Englishman Ross Fisher, with Spanish duo Pablo Larrazábal and Pep Angles a further shot back.

Lorenzo-Vera reached the turn in 35 before a birdie on the 12th thanks to a stunning flop-shot got him to level par and, when Johnston bogeyed the same hole, he found himself in a share of the lead for the first time.

All those at the top of the leader board were falling back and Lorenzo-Vera did the same with bogeys on the 15th and 16th, but his spectacular hole-out on the 17th catapulted him ahead before his disappointing finish.

Johnston had been battling for top spot with overnight leader Larrazábal in the early stages and held the lead on his own after birdies on the fifth and 11th but three bogeys in a row from the 12th saw him fall back.

Kaymer twice got to level par with back-to-back birdies on the fourth and fifth, and tenth and 11th, but both times gave the advantage back, while Luiten registered five birdies and four bogeys.

Fisher overcame a double-bogey on the 12th in his 72, while Morrison also fought back well after turning in 38.

Larrazábal endured a frustrating afternoon as he carded a 78, with Angles' 74 enough to get him a shot ahead of Thomas Bjørn, Richard Bland, Alejandro Cañizares and Noren.

The Real Club Valderrama Open de España Hosted by the Sergio García Foundation is promoted by the European Tour, with the support of Real Federación Española de Golf and the Spanish High Council for Sports. The tournament sponsors are: Reale, Rolex, Avis, Canon, Heineken, Osborne, Solán de Cabras and Volvo. 

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