Frenchman Michael Lorenzo-Vera leads the Oceanico Developments Pro-Am Challenge after a miraculous putting performance helped him to a stunning nine under par 61 at Marriott Worsley Park Hotel and Country Club.
Lorenzo-Vera, who tied fourth at last week’s Challenge Tour event, seemed to hole everything he looked at during the first round, with putts from up 40 feet flying in all over the course.
Such was the extent of Lorenzo-Vera’s touch with the putter, the 22 year old from Biarritz vowed to “sleep with it tonight” after signing for the lowest round of his life that left him three strokes clear of second placed Stuart Davis of England and Tim Dykes of Wales, and a three strong group of players on five under, including local amateur David Horsey.
It looked likely to be a jam packed leaderboard with 67 players within six strokes of each other, but that was before Lorenzo-Vera got going on the greens and carded an eagle, seven birdies and ten pars to charge into the outright lead.
Lorenzo-Vera got off to a great start with birdies on the first and third before a great drive and a four wood to 14 feet on the par five fifth allowed him to pick up an eagle three.
Lorenzo-Vera then hit a poor six iron approach to the par three seventh that came to rest some 40 feet from the cup, but one stroke on the magic putter later he was picking the ball out of the hole after another birdie.
And so he continued on the back nine with another four birdie putts dropping below ground level to give him that three stroke lead.
“This is certainly the best round of my season – possibly the best round of my life,” said Lorenzo-Vera.
“I just had a crazy day of putting – I’m not sure of how many I had but I just holed so many long putts – from 12 metres, six metres, it just seemed that everything was going in.
“I think I’m going to put my putter in really cold water because it’s too hot just now! I’ll put it in the cold water and then sleep with it I think!
“Today was a continuation of last week’s form. Last week I had a terrible finish in Madrid, but apart from that, I have tried to bring the same feelings here this week and it is working so far.”