By Brian Keogh
French front-runner Michael Lorenzo-Vera has ditched his “magic underpants” for lucky tees.
The Biarritz rugby reject, 23, fired three birdies in the last ten holes for a 70 to lead by a shot from Germany’s Marcel Siem on six-under par.
But he won’t be wearing his favourite Saturday briefs as he bids to win his first European Tour title, opting for “lucky” Rolex tees instead.
Lorenzo-Vera said: “No, no, no. I finished the superstition. I am just going to take out a fresh pair tomorrow without even looking.
“They were horrible big white Quicksilver ones. If my girlfriend saw them she would throw up.
“I still have a couple of superstitions. I only use white Rolex tees. Why? You hit a good drive and another good drive. Then you take a Titleist tee, out of bounds. Okay, back to the good Rolex tees.”
Last year’s Challenge Tour champion hails from the rugby heartland of Biarritz but he's glad he never made the grade at the game.
His mother, Paola, coaches under-age sides but she wasn’t too upset that her youngest son opted for golf instead.
Lorenzo-Vera said: “She prefers to see me in one piece. My brother played for 11 years, he was pretty good, but was broken totally.
“I tried but I was no good. They didn’t say anything to me. It was just okay, off you go and try something else.”
Tied for second place behind Damien McGrane in last month’s Volvo China Open, Lorenzo-Vera is hoping for better luck in Ireland after finishing second in last year’s Challegne Tour event in Glasson.
He said: “I like Ireland. I think it is a good place for me. It would be nice to do even better this week than I did in Athlone.”
Aussie left-hander Richard Green (74) and Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal (70) are tied for third on four under par with Peter Baker, Darren Clarke, Bradley Dredge, Johan Edfors, Robert Karlsson and Alvaro Velasco just three shots off the pace on three-under