|World Tour Championship second-round leaderboard|
|-12 M Lorenzo-Vera (Fra); -9 J Rahm (Spa), T Fleetwood (Eng); -7 T Lewis (Eng) -6 R McIlroy (NI);|
|Selected others:–5 J Rose (Eng); -3 D Willett (Eng)|
England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Spanish Ryder Cup team-mate Jon Rahm are three strokes off leader Mike Lorenzo-Vera at the World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Fleetwood’s four-under 68 included seven birdies and three bogeys.
France’s world number 96 Lorenzo-Vera, who began the day one clear of Rory McIlroy, was seven shots ahead at one point, before his lead was trimmed.
Northern Ireland’s McIlroy slipped to fifth after a two-over round that never recovered from a double bogey on six.
It contrasted with his efforts on Thursday, when he carded an eight-under 64.
“It’s a very fickle game,” McIlroy said. “That’s golf. I battled through it.
“I’m still in with a shout to have a go at winning this tournament. Just need to stick the head down over the weekend and get in there and try to shoot a couple good scores.”
Either Rahm and Fleetwood would be crowned as Race to Dubai champion if they secure solo second spot ahead of the other, provided Austria’s Bernd Wiesberger, currently joint 13th, does not climb into the upper reaches of the leaderboard.
“There are a lot of things going on around you, so the more internally focused you can be and the more you can just stay in your bubble… it will just be a great challenge going into the weekend trying to do that,” said Fleetwood.
Frenchman Lorenzo-Vera, 34, is chasing the first European Tour title of his career.
“I missed a couple of shots at the end and made a three-putt on the last,” he said.
“It’s just the game. I’ve got a three-shot lead and it’s better than [being] three shots behind. It’s just going to be stressful because there are big dogs behind me that are going to try to bite me, so it’s going to be interesting.”