Alvaro Quiros squeezed out a one stroke advantage over Order of Merit leader Robert Karlsson and Ross Fisher on the completion of the delayed third round of the Portugal Masters this morning.
The leading trio, three of Europe’s longest hitters, will come together in a mouth-watering final group looking to overpower the Oceanico Victoria Golf Course.
After the afternoon storm on Friday, the third round resumed with a glorious dawn on Portugal’s Algarve. Karlsson and Fisher both safely negotiated the 17th green, both two putting for par, and also parred the tough 18th hole, Karlsson getting up and down from the right edge of the green, to finish level on 14 under par.
Quiros, in the final group, still had five holes to play and after parring the 14th, his a colossal drive onto the green at the 15th to set up a two putt birdie. The wrong club on the 16th cost him a shot when he missed the green right and failed to get up and down, but he made amends on the 17th when, after missing the green with his five wood second shot, played a lovely chip to a foot to pick up a second birdie of the day.
The Spaniard had another chance for birdie on the last but his 12 foot putt slid by to keep his advantage at a slender solitary shot.
“We all know that one stroke is nothing in golf, but if I can continue to hit the ball as I have done for the first three rounds, you never know,” said Quiros.
Asked about the prospect of going up against the form player in Robert Karlsson, Quiros said: “I will try and play my own game but I know it is going to be tough.”
The match up of Karlsson and Fisher immediately rekindled memories of two weeks ago when the Swede got the better of the Englishman to win the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in a play-off although there was no talk of that between the players ranked first and seventh on the Order of Merit.