Sunday, 13 February 2011
Alvaro Quiros - Omega Dubai Desert Classic Champion  (Getty Images)
Alvaro Quiros - Omega Dubai Desert Classic Champion (Getty Images)

Spain's Alvaro Quiros recorded a hole in one as he beat the cream of world golf to become Omega Dubai Desert Classic champion.

Just after running up a triple bogey when three clear, Quiros aced the short 11th and ended up beating Dane Anders Hansen and South African James Kingston by a stroke.

The big names all faded. Tiger Woods finished with a double-bogey seven for a 75 and joint 20th place with Sergio Garcia - he triple-bogeyed the ninth - while long-time leader Rory McIlroy was tenth and World Number One Lee Westwood 15th after dropping three shots in the last two holes.

Big-hitting Quiros, who had treatment on his arm out on the course, grabbed his fifth European Tour title with a closing 68 and 11 under par total.

The big-hitting Spaniard's defining moment came with a "three-quarter wedge" at the 161 yard 11th, but he still had it all to do when he trailed Hansen by a stroke entering the closing stretch.

Then came a 12 foot birdie putt at the 16th before two pars gave Quiros the title after Hansen was unable to repair the damage of a bogey on the short 15th.

"It was the perfect shot," said the 28 year old of his ace. "Once a year it happens."

Quiros, runner-up to Thomas Björn in Qatar last week, overcame a triple bogey on the eighth - his ball was stuck up a tree there - and a right-arm strain to fire a four under par 68.

But as he went to celebrate, he left many of the tournament's other stars to reflect on where it all went wrong.

Woods, without a victory for almost 15 months, was only two shots back with seven to play, but by the time he hit his pitch to the last into the lake and took a double-bogey seven he was down in 20th spot.

Lee Westwood stays as World Number One because Martin Kaymer, needing a top-two finish, was down at 31st, but the Englishman's own 15th place was a disappointment after being only one behind with four holes remaining.

Westwood did the same as Quiros by hitting a ball into a tree on the 17th, double-bogeyed and then was in the water on the last like Woods, albeit in an attempt to find the green in two. That led to another six.

As for long-time leader McIlroy, whose only European Tour title came on the same course two years ago, he followed his opening rounds of 65 and 68 with 75-74 to end up joint tenth.

And then there was Garcia. Playing with Woods he had real hopes of his first win since November 2008 when he moved into a share of the lead with a 35 foot putt on the first.

But the former World Number Two - he is now down at 79th - ran up a triple-bogey seven on the ninth and never getting back in the hunt.

The spotlight turned onto another Spaniard instead and Quiros, whose power enabled him to eagle the 351 yard second, did not disappoint.

His two closest pursuers both had long birdie chances on the last to force a play-off, but Kingston lipped out from 30 feet and Hansen missed from 40.

Quiros added: "I am very proud of myself. I think I managed very well with difficult situations.

"I have to recognise that the 11th might be one of the more exciting moments in my career. It was like the last piece of a happy birthday cake. It gave me the chance to win the tournament."

Quiros now leads The Race to Dubai and is on the verge of making it into the world's top 20.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1QUIROS, AlvaroESP18-11
T2HANSEN, AndersDEN18-10
T4GONNET, Jean-BaptisteFRA18-9
T4VELASCO, AlvaroESP18-9

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