If South Africa’s Thriston Lawrence and Zander Lombard hold their own in the last two rounds of the money-rich Road to Dubai Tour Championship at the Jumeirah Beach Country Club in Dubai, they will end the year on a very high note.
This tournament, the last in this year’s series and in which only the top 50 in the European series participate, has prize money of R183 million.
The winner will receive almost R55 million and the player who finishes 50th and last will receive R587 000.
Dane Nicolai Hojgaard is on 133 strokes (-11) two strokes ahead of Lawrence, Antoine Rozner (France), Jens Dantrop (Sweden), Tommy Fleetwood (England) and Norway’s Viktor Hovland, who are all on 135 strokes (-9 ) ended up in the clubhouse.
Hojgaard has yet to win this year, although he has been very consistent and has finished in the top 10 in eight tournaments. Last week at Sun City he was second in the Nedbank Challenge tournament which was won by the American Max Homa.
Lombard and Frenchman Matthieu Pavon are joint seventh and only three strokes behind Hojgaard on 136 strokes (-8).
Both South Africans produced brilliant performances in the second round. Lawrence, who was the Sir Henry Cotton Rookie of the Year in the European Series two years ago, shot 64, the best score of the day, in the second round.
The 26-year-old Lawrence, who has already won four tournaments in the European series, recorded six birdies and an eagle (on the second hole).
After Lawrence conceded par on three holes in the first round, he was red hot on Friday and didn’t miss a beat.
The 28-year-old Lombard shot forward with 65 shots. He has not yet been able to win a tournament in the European series, but kicked open the back door with seven birdies in his second round (65).