DP World Tour Championship: Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Jon Rahm share third-round lead

Sport360 staff 19:30 23/11/2019
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The season-ending DP World Tour Championship is set for an enthralling final round with Mike Lorenzo-Vera and Jon Rahm tied for the lead on 15-under par on a day of low scoring at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

Lorenzo-Vera, who is bidding to become the first wire-to-wire winner in tournament history, posted a three-under par 69 as he searches for his first European Tour title.

Rahm, winner of the DP World Tour Championship in 2017, reeled off seven birdies and a bogey to grab a slice of the lead.

Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy is two shots off the lead and Tommy Fleetwood, who is second in the Race to Dubai, is four shots adrift of the leaders going into the final round.

RAMPANT RAHM

The 25-year-old could be the first Spaniard to follow in the footsteps of the great Seve Ballesteros to win the Race to Dubai and be European number one by Sunday evening.

The world number five has purred with confidence all weekend in Dubai, firing seven birdies and only one bogey on Saturday for a stellar round of 66 that sees him grab a share of the lead with Lorenzo-Vera.

There were many fine moments over the course of his round, but one effort that stands out was his glorious chip in for a birdie on the 13th that saw him move on to 13 under.

He constantly hovers in around the leaderboard these days and is highly fancied to triumph on Sunday, especially given the pressure Lorenzo-Vera may put himself under knowing he’s teeing off in the final group and has a high chance of a first victory.

LORENZO-VERA NEEDS TO BELIEVE

What a story it would be for the Frenchman to seal a first European Tour victory on his 194th start.

Leading by three strokes at the halfway stage, the 34-year-old fired four birdies and a bogey to sit in a share of the lead with Rahm.

His delicate iron off the tee on the 6th, his approach shot on the 7th, his beautiful putt in off the green on the 9th and ridiculous birdie attempt on the 14th were among some of his key moments during a near flawless round.

However, it was his bad drive off the 18th that cost him a vital shot at the end. The Biarritz man found the water and was forced to drop, finding the green with his third shot and then posting a nervy three-putt bogey.

Teeing off alongside Rahm on Sunday will be a daunting task, especially with the scintillating form the Spaniard is in, but Lorenzo-Vera needs to stay composed and believe he has the game to prevail.

MAGICAL MCILROY

We’re slowly running out of superlatives to describe the year McIlroy has had.

Despite not adding to his four majors in 2019, the Northern Irishman has recorded 18 top-10 finishes in 23 starts, including four victories.

After shooting a disappointing second round 74 on Friday, McIlroy looked back to his scintillating best to move within two shots of the lead with a round-of-the-day 65.

And, judging by his impressive form around the Earth Course, the 30-year-old could very well be in the mix for a third DP World Tor Championship crown on Sunday.

His eagle on the seventh was breathtaking, unleashing a stunning five-wood to within six feet from the flag to move on to 10 under.

With searing confidence and a class all-round game, expect his driver to continue to cause mayhem and help him to card a low score on Sunday.

WIESBERGER WANES

He is yet to fire this week, but there is still a chance of Wiesberger clinching Race to Dubai glory if Tommy Fleetwood or Rahm finish outside the top-two.

Unfortunately with the way that Rahm is playing – 13 shots ahead of Wiesberger – it is going to take a miracle for the Austrian to finish off the year as European number one.

His rounds of 70, 71 and 73 have been largely unconvincing and it sees the seven-time European Tour winner languishing in a tie for 24th alongside the likes of Patrick Reed and Richard Sterne.

The Vienna man did enjoy a strong start on Saturday, with three birdies on the opening eight holes, but he struggled from there on in, posting four bogeys in a five-hole stretch on his way to a one-over 73.

The only way for the 34-year-old to finish off in positive fashion is to go out and give it everything on Sunday, and hope Rahm can slip further back.

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