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Thursday, 24 April 2014
Alvaro Quiros  (Getty Images)
Alvaro Quiros (Getty Images)
Alvaro Quiros began the 20th Volvo China Open with a five under par 67 to grab a share of the clubhouse lead alongside Simon Dyson in Shenzhen.

Quiros, one of the game’s longest hitters, won six times on The European Tour between 2007 and 2011, but injuries and a loss of form have seen the 31 year old fail to record a top-three finish in the last three seasons.

That could change this week, however, after the Spaniard carded four birdies, a single bogey and an eagle at the long 13th.

“It was a good round of golf,” said Quiros. “It was a bit of a shame on the last par five because I was half a metre away from having a great chance to make another eagle but I ended up on the lip of the bunker and had to settle for a chip and two putts. 

“You can’t see it yet on the rankings but I have been playing better. The Middle East swing was a good three weeks for me then I had a good result in Joburg and the last couple of weeks have been better.” 

Dyson won this event in 2000 before it became co-sanctioned by The European Tour, and is looking to become the first player to capture the title twice.

The Englishman bogeyed his opening hole, but responded with six birdies.

“I started on the tenth today and the first nine holes I played was the best I have played for quite some time,” said the 36 year old, who like Quiros has six European Tour titles to his name.

“I really didn’t miss a shot. I missed two fairways just, and didn’t miss a green so gave myself a lot chances which is always nice and then I managed to make a couple of birdies on the other side for a tidy five under. It was a good start and very pleasing.

“I have to say that because I was absolutely horrendous in the pro-am yesterday. I just went on the range for a couple of hours and managed to find something which I took out on to the course and it seemed to work for me. 

“I’ll tell you what – it is an unbelievable finishing hole. If you need to make par on that hole to win on Sunday and you manage to get it done then you will deserve everything you get because it is a very tough finish.

“I have had a bit of success here and really enjoy playing in China. Obviously I have won this tournament before so that always gives you a good feeling and like I said, I just played nicely today so hopefully I can continue to do that over the next three days.” 

Dyson and Quiros were one clear of English rookie Tyrell Hatton and Spanish Challenge Tour graduate Adrian Otaegui, who both compiled rounds of 68, while David Horsey and Raphaël Jacquelin were both four under on the course.

Ryder Cup star Ian Poulter signed for a 69 to lie in a share of seventh, one ahead of Italian team-mate Francesco Molinari.

World Number Three Henrik Stenson and defending champion Brett Rumford were both among the afternoon starters but made swift starts to be two under through four holes, while US PGA Championship winner Jason Dufner was level par.

Having birdied his first four holes, Jacquelin took the outright lead with further gains at the ninth and tenth.

However, the Frenchman came unstuck with a quadruple bogey eight at the 15th – a drive into water followed by a third into a fairway bunker where an awkward stance meant he could only hack out. His fifth also found sand and, although he splashed out to three feet, a missed putt saw him plummet into the chasing pack.

That left England’s Paul Waring, who turned in a four under 32, as the main threat to Dyson and Quiros.

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LEVY, AlexanderFRA18-19
2FLEETWOOD, TommyENG18-15
3QUIROS, AlvaroESP18-13
4MOLINARI, FrancescoITA18-12
T5HANSEN, AndersDEN18-11
T5STENSON, HenrikSWE18-11

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