Francesco Laporta has already guaranteed that 2021 will be his best season so far on the Race to Dubai but the Italian is aiming for even more at next week’s DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. After finishing top of the European Challenge Tour Rankings in 2019 to earn a second full season on the European Tour, Laporta finished 104th on the Race to Dubai Rankings in Partnership with Rolex in 2020. It looked like he was heading for a similar position in 2021 but a top five on home soil at the DS Automobiles Italian Open was followed seven days later by a tie for sixth at the BMW PGA Championship – his best ever finish in a Rolex Series event. That catapulted the 31-year-old into the top 50 and while he heads to next week’s season finale at 35th after a tie for second at the AVIV Dubai Championship, Laporta has no intention of stopping there.
Francesco Laporta, statements
“It sounds a bit crazy going into the DP World Tour Championship because a few months ago I was struggling to get my card. Then I played solid at the Italian Open and Wentworth. The goal was to play the Race to Dubai finale and now I’m 35th so I have a good chance to finish in the top 25 for next week. So now that’s my third goal: first was to keep my card, second was to play the DP World Tour Championship and third one to finish top 25 so I’m ten spots away and need a good week. I played really good, made only two mistakes in four rounds so I’m pretty happy about my game,” he said. “I shot one shot less than last year, I shot 23 under to finish second. My game is in good shape for next week. I was feeling so good on 18, I was telling myself ‘you can do this’, and I knew I needed a birdie for a play-off. But then I shanked my three wood. There was a lot of pressure on that shot and I felt it. I made a mistake but I’m sure next time I will be more prepared. The putt was turning to the hole and then stopped. It was a really good putt, it was tough to read, left to right and right to left double break, so it was a tough putt and I knew that. I just wanted to give it a chance to get to the hole and it was almost perfect”.