Alvaro Quiros (Getty Images)
Fighting fit again after a serious wrist injury, Spaniard Alvaro Quiros is relishing returning ‘home’ to the Portugal Masters next month.
Quiros, who had surgery on damaged wrist ligaments last November and missed the first three months of 2013, recently moved to the Algarve with his new wife and is attached to Oceânico Victoria Golf Course in Vilamoura, which has staged the event since it began in 2007.
The 30 year old has had mixed results since making his comeback – the highlight being finishing tied fifth in the Irish Open – but he will be inspired by a return to the event he won by three shots in 2008.
“I live five minutes from Oceânico Victoria,” said Quiros. “It’s always a special tournament and this year it will be even nicer. I’ve won there before, and that always gives you a good feeling in the back of your mind.
“It was time for a change and I was looking to move to a country similar to Spain. Vilamoura ticks all the boxes. It’s a great place and I’m only four hours’ drive from home.
“The Portugal Masters is one of the best events we have in Europe. The people are very friendly and always make us feel welcome, the weather is usually very good and the hotel is beautiful – plus you have excellent food there. For me, a golf tournament is not just about the prize money – it’s about a good course, nice, friendly people, good weather.
“Europe is not having a great time financially, particularly in Spain and Portugal, so we really appreciate the efforts of the sponsors to make this a fantastic tournament.”
Quiros reached a 19 under par total in 2008 for his second European Tour victory - he has since amassed four more - and the Challenge Tour graduate believes the scoring will again be low this year.
“The course suits a lot of players so there will be lots of birdies, as usual,” he added. “It’s not that long and the greens are very good and very quick. There will be plenty of birdies for everyone – whether they are a long hitter or shorter hitter.”
Quiros is part of a strong Spanish contingent set to tee up in Vilamoura, joining Rafa Cabrera-Bello, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castaño, Miguel Angel Jiménez and Pablo Larrazábal.
Ryder Cup stars Nicolas Colsaerts and Francesco Molinari are also in the field, as is defending champion Shane Lowry and home favourite Ricardo Santos.
Advance tickets are available now for the 2013 Portugal Masters, with substantial savings on the gate prices. Admission to the Pro-Am on October 10 is €10 in advance (€15 on the gate), with Any One Day Adult passes costing €20 (€25 on the gate) and concessions €15 in advance or €20 on the gate. Adult Season tickets are priced at €50 (Wednesday to Sunday) compared to €60 on the gate. To buy tickets, click here.