Alvaro Quiros (Getty Images)
Charismatic Spaniard and recent European Tour winner Álvaro Quirós discusses that comeback victory at the Rocco Forte Open, his swing change regrets, his love of being a father and Atletico Madrid fan, and his goals for the future, as the 34 year old writes this week's player blog...
Winning in Sicily was a relief. I was due to play a few events on the European Tour and then to be focused on the Challenge Tour to recover my game and get my card by the end of the year. Obviously the plan has changed!
In Italy I was very focused on taking advantage of the opportunity that I had given myself. I was very happy about my mental game for the whole of that week. I'm even more happy that I managed to refocus after a dip during a couple of holes in the final round. Until the 15th hole on Sunday it was looking very nice and then after two holes the situation changed a lot. That’s why when I finished it felt a little bitter-sweet, but looking back now I feel great about how I handled it. In the end, the only thing that matters is my name is on the trophy and that I have recovered my rights to play on the European Tour.
I was always a natural player. I could shoot low scores and it was almost a given. I was in the top 50 in the world for four consecutive years, playing good golf and winning every year. I decided to change my swing at the end of 2011, as I thought I needed to become more consistent in a different way, and that messed everything up.
I lost the natural part of playing golf and that was the key. The more that I worked at it I was still hitting the ball badly. I was trying to believe in my game, but it seemed to be going in the opposite direction. That time was difficult, because after 2012 I was working harder than ever and, also after a surgery, I found I couldn’t fix whatever the problem was. I’m still working very hard at it. I even changed my coach for a few months, until I found a different coach at the end of 2016 and that looks like it’s been key.
Being a father has changed everything. Before I became a father, almost 90 per cent of my time was golf, five per cent was the gym and the other five per cent was sleeping! I was very focused on golf. From last year to this point I have to say my son has changed the time I have at home in a positive way. Now I’m busy and enjoy doing different things with him at home and that has helped me to disconnect from golf.
I’ve been an Atletico Madrid fan since childhood and my father is a fan as well. We’ve had very good teams and that’s the most important thing, but in terms of a favourite player I really believe in Fernando Torres. He’s been a very big name for us and a guy who really shows the right way to be on and off the pitch and that’s very important when you represent a team like Atletico Madrid.
I’ve still got goals. I feel I am not back at 100 per cent. My swing is better, but I am still working hard on improving my swing, and now I have the privilege to do it on the European Tour instead of the Challenge Tour. When I find regularity in the swing, anything could happen.