Psychology key as Mike Lorenzo-Vera shares lead in Qatar

Three lead the way in Doha as Ireland’s Gavin Moynihan misses cut by a stroke

Mike Lorenzo-Vera has a share of the lead in Qatar. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty

Mike Lorenzo-Vera has a share of the lead in Qatar. Photograph: Warren Little/Getty


France’s Mike Lorenzo-Vera is fully focused on claiming a first European Tour title in the Qatar Masters after receiving a dressing-down from his sports psychologist.

Lorenzo-Vera went eight seasons without a top-three finish before the 2017 HNA Open de France and lost a play-off in last season’s Rocco Forte Sicilian Open, but enjoys a share of the halfway lead with South Africans George Coetzee and Justin Harding at Doha Golf Club.

All three players have carded consecutive rounds of 68 on the opening two days to reach eight under par, a shot ahead of England’s Oliver Wilson, South Africa’s Erik Van Rooyen, Spain’s Adri Arnaus and Japan’s Masahiro Kawamura.

Gavin Moynihan’s week is over prematurely, however, after he followed up an opening round of 71 with a 73 on Friday.

Moynihan’s second round was a rollercoaster, with five bogeys in his first nine holes and another on the 11th. He then finished with a flourish, picking up strokes on the 12th, 13th and 16th, before making an eagle on the par-five 18th.

It proved in vain, however, as it left him on level par - a stroke adrift of the one under par cur mark.

Meanwhile working with Justin Parsons on his swing and fitness coach Kev Duffy on the physical side of the game has paid dividends for leader Lorenzo-Vera, but the 34-year-old revealed a different mental approach could make the biggest difference.

“We’ve been working really hard on the swing to make it consistent, we’ve been working very hard mentally with my psychologist and Justin told me I needed to be more strong and precise on my physical preparation for the swings,” Lorenzo-Vera told Sky Sports.

“Kev Duffy helped me a lot to do that and then had a great chat last week with my psychologist. She’s been kicking my a** because I don’t believe in myself and the fact that I can win so I’m coming here and just thinking about the trophy.”

Harding has won seven times around the world but not on the European Tour and was happy to save par on the 18th after pulling his second shot into the water on the par five.

“It was naughty because you’ve got the whole world on the right-hand side but I’m happy I made five in the end and it didn’t really cost me too many shots,” Harding said. “I would have liked to have got another one or two (birdies) coming in but it was solid.

“Each day is its own puzzle. You’ve got to go sort it out. You can’t really go out there thinking you are going to play well.

“I’ve got a bit of confidence that’s been built up through time and some nice performances but you’ve got to deal with it when you wake up in the morning and see what you’ve got when you’re playing.”

Coetzee reached a career-high 41st in the world after finishing second in Qatar in 2013, but started this week ranked 243rd after just one top-20 finish in his last 25 events.

“I’m a little confused myself,” the four-time European Tour winner said. “I’m just happy to be playing some better golf. I guess I made a bit of a mind-switch and started focusing a bit more on what’s going on at the moment instead of where I want to be in a couple of years.

“I feel like everything is slowly getting into place. I don’t know when it’s going to be there for four rounds but hopefully I’ll be awake and ready to reap the rewards.”

Collated second round scores & totals in the European Tour Qatar Masters, Doha GC, Doha, Qatar (Gbr & Irl unless stated, par 72):

(a) denotes amateurs

136 Justin Harding (Rsa) 68 68, Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 68 68, George Coetzee (Rsa) 68 68

137 Adri Arnaus (Spa) 67 70, Oliver Wilson 69 68, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 69 68, Masahiro Kawamura (Jpn) 69 68

138 Anton Karlsson (Swe) 72 66, Richie Ramsay 68 70, Kristoffer Broberg (Swe) 71 67, Nicolas Colsaerts (Bel) 68 70, Jacques Kruyswijk (Rsa) 71 67, Deyen Lawson (Aus) 70 68, Thomas Detry (Bel) 70 68, Nacho Elvira (Spa) 71 67

139 Kurt Kitayama (USA) 69 70, Paul Waring 69 70, Alejandro Canizares (Spa) 71 68, Jordan Smith 71 68, Nick Cullen (Aus) 69 70, Bradley Dredge 68 71

140 Hugo Leon (USA) 68 72, Thomas Aiken (Rsa) 71 69, Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 69 71, Ashley Chesters 70 70, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 76 64, Oliver Fisher 73 67, Jeff Winther (Den) 70 70, Sebastian Soderberg (Swe) 72 68, Gaganjeet Bhullar (Ind) 69 71, Fabrizio Zanotti (Pry) 72 68, Justin Walters (Rsa) 67 73, Gavin Green (Mal) 71 69, Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 69 71, Jens Dantorp (Swe) 72 68

141 Kalle Samooja (Fin) 71 70, Jorge Campillo (Spa) 72 69, Grant Forrest 69 72, Thongchai Jaidee (Tha) 71 70, Matthias Schwab (Aut) 72 69, Jin-ho Choi (Kor) 72 69, Adrien Saddier (Fra) 72 69, Robert Rock 72 69, Andy Sullivan 70 71, Tom Murray 73 68, Robert Macintyre 69 72, Louis De Jager (Rsa) 74 67, Min Woo Lee (Aus) 75 66

142 Niclas Johansson (Swe) 70 72, Filippo Bergamaschi (Ita) 74 68, David Horsey 71 71, Stuart Manley 69 73, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 72 70, Matthew Southgate 72 70, Scott Jamieson 73 69, Robert Karlsson (Swe) 69 73, Lucas Herbert (Aus) 69 73, Jake McLeod (Aus) 72 70

143 Ross Fisher 69 74, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 73 70, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 71 72, Chris Paisley 74 69, Kim Koivu (Fin) 73 70, Pablo Larrazabal (Spa) 74 69, Liam Johnston 72 71, Lee Slattery 69 74, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 72 71, Thomas Bjorn (Den) 72 71, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 72 71, Pedro Figueiredo (Por) 73 70, (a) Wilco Nienaber (Rsa) 75 68, Bernd Wiesberger (Aut) 72 71, Adrian Otaegui (Spa) 71 72

The following players missed the cut:

144 Marcus Kinhult (Swe) 72 72, Ben Evans 70 74, S.S.P Chawrasia (Ind) 73 71, Adrian Meronk (Pol) 72 72, Jack Singh Brar 73 71, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 74 70, Ashun Wu (Chn) 77 67, Charlie Saxon (USA) 73 71, Ivan Cantero Gutierrez (Spa) 69 75, Gavin Moynihan 71 73, Marc Warren 72 72, David Lipsky (USA) 72 72, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 70 74, Edoardo Molinari (Ita) 69 75

145 Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 71 74, Clement Sordet (Fra) 72 73, David Howell 72 73, Niklas Lemke (Swe) 75 70, Scott Fernandez (Spa) 69 76, Hideto Tanihara (Jpn) 71 74, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 72 73, Mitch Waite 74 71, Peter Hanson (Swe) 76 69, Joachim B. Hansen (Den) 73 72, Per Langfors (Swe) 74 71, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 73 72, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano (Spa) 73 72

146 Steven Brown 73 73, Soren Kjeldsen (Den) 70 76, Haydn Porteous (Rsa) 73 73

Richard McEvoy 75 71, Romain Langasque (Fra) 77 69, Alvaro Quiros (Spa) 76 70, Max Schmitt (Ger) 73 73, Andrea Pavan (Ita) 76 70, Victor Perez (Fra) 78 68

147 Sean Crocker (USA) 75 72, Sam Brazel (Aus) 72 75, Daniel Gavins 72 75, Scott Gregory 72 75

148 Romain Wattel (Fra) 74 74, Zander Lombard (Rsa) 72 76, Jaco Van Zyl (Rsa) 73 75, Sam Locke 74 74, Aaron Rai 74 74

149 Scott Hend (Aus) 76 73, Tom Lewis 77 72, Dean Burmester (Rsa) 75 74, Kristoffer Reitan (Nor) 76 73, Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 76 73, David Borda (Spa) 77 72, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 74 75

150 Kristian Krogh Johannessen (Nor) 76 74, Hyo-won Park (Kor) 73 77, Stephen Gallacher 76 74, Bernd Ritthammer (Ger) 73 77

151 Chris Wood 75 76, Espen Kofstad (Nor) 77 74, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 76 75

152 David Law 73 79, Faycal Serghini (Mor) 79 73, Paul Lawrie 80 72, Mike Toorop (Ned) 80 72, Renato Paratore (Ita) 79 73

153 (a) Ali Saleh Alb Kaabi (Qat) 78 75, Guido Migliozzi (Spa) 78 75

156 Mikkel Mathiesen (Den) 81 75

158 Matthieu Pavon (Fra) 82 76

164 Jaham Alkuwari (Qat) 86 78

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