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Wednesday, 09 May 2018
Alvaro Quiros  (Getty Images)
Alvaro Quiros (Getty Images)

Alvaro Quiros returns to the scene of arguably his greatest triumph when he tees it up as defending champion at this week's Rocco Forte Sicilian Open.

The Spaniard was one of the European Tour's leading lights in the late 2000s, winning six events in five seasons from 2007, culminating in the season-ending Dubai World Championship presented by DP World.

There then followed six barren years and Quiros turned up at Verdura Golf Club last season 703rd on the Official World Golf Ranking and without playing privileges on the European Tour.

The 35 year old held a seven-shot lead with 12 holes to play on Sunday but eventually needed a play-off to see off Zander Lombard and win European Tour title number seven.

"Obviously it was a very important moment in my career without having the European Tour card in my pocket," he said. "Recovering it after my victory here was a very great achievement.

"I was happy after the victory, but I have to recognise that I have a kind of bitter flavour because the last few holes were not that good. But a victory is a victory and hopefully in a couple of years time I will not remember it.

"Last year I was playing very nicely from tee to green and my putting was unbelievable. At the same time, when you putt well, every single bad shot is less bad and the good ones help you recover, so that's why I was able to play so well last year."

Quiros made just one cut the over the rest of the 2017 season following his triumph but a second-placed finish at the Trophée Hassan II last month represented a return to form and he is certain he can challenge if he is in the right frame of mind.

It was a very important moment in my career - Alvaro Quiros

"I have to say that I'm very happy with my game right now, even though I have to work a lot on my mental game," he said. "I am still having some issues in certain situations but I'm happy.

"I'm hitting the ball good enough. I'm not going to say I'm hitting it my greatest but it's good enough. The putting is okay too, so there's no reason to think of not performing properly here.

"It is a lovely place, I mean it's a paradise in the middle of Sicily, it's a lovely place, we have lovely restaurants, the golf course is a very nice one too, this year especially it's in great shape. The weather, as you can see, is sunny with a little bit of breeze - no complaints."

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Tournament Leaderboard

Pos Player nameNatHolePar
1LAGERGREN, JoakimSWE18-16
2LORENZO-VERA, MikeFRA18-16
T3HERBERT, LucasAUS18-15
T3SULLIVAN, AndyENG18-15
5BJERREGAARD, LucasDEN18-14
6GUERRIER, JulienFRA18-13

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