Michael Lorenzo-Vera continued his exemplary Challenge Tour form with an outstanding opening four under par 67 in cold, gusty, blustery conditions to move into a three shot lead at the A.G.F. Allianz Open des Volcans – Challenge de France.
The Frenchman was second in this event 12 months ago and picked up from where he left off last year at the Golf des Volcans with a wonderful display, utilising every shot in the bag to carve out a fine first round in what were dreadful conditions.
With temperatures dropping and the wind gusting to 25 miles per hour, it was the kind of day that tests every aspect of a golfer’s game, and Lorenzo-Vera showcased all of his talent, as well as his strength of mind, to emerge at the top of the leaderboard, three shots clear of a five strong group of players: Gustavo Acosta of Argentina; Denmark’s Soren Juul; Bruno-Teva Lecuona of France and New Zealand’s Gareth Paddison.
Starting on the tenth tee, Lorenzo-Vera got off to a perfect start with a bride three. He gave that shot back with a bogey at the 14th, but was not to be denied as he conjured another four birdies to sail ahead of the field.
“It was a tough day because the course here is very difficult anyway, but with the cold and the wind you had to really concentrate on every shot,” said the 22 year old from Biarritz.
“It was one of the days where the most important shot was the first tee shot and I managed to hit a good drive on the tenth and made birdie for a perfect start.”
Lorenzo-Vera has been threatening to secure his maiden Challenge Tour victory for the past six weeks with a sixth, a fourth and a second place finish in that time, all of which have helped him climb to fifth place on the Challenge Tour Rankings with €49,442.
All that is missing from turning his season from good to great is a victory, and he is hoping to right that statistic come Sunday afternoon.
“I have been having a good season,” continued Lorenzo-Vera, who missed out on that first win by a whisker at the Oceanico Developments Pro-Am Challenge, where he lost a sudden-death play-off to England’s Ross McGowan.
“I feel that I can win but I don’t know I can win. You have to do it before you know you can do it. I have had a good first round here but that’s all – there is a long way to go with three rounds to play and anything can happen.”