x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

Alvaro Quiros enjoys the rub of the greens

Dubai Desert Classic winner admits luck played a big part in his triumph.

DUBAI // Alvaro Quiros maintained last night that he had made too many mistakes over the past four days to be acclaimed a convincing winner of the Dubai Desert Classic.

The Spaniard was grateful that good fortune came to his rescue to conceal his weaker moments on the way to celebrating a victory that sweeps him into an early lead in the Race to Dubai.

"I have to say I was lucky," said Quiros as he rubbed the silver Coffee Pot trophy.

"To have a chipped in eagle and a hole in one in the same final round of a tight tournament and win by a single shot makes me feel very lucky. But I'm so happy that it worked out that way for me.

"Making a hole in one when you are in contention to win is a memorable moment for anybody and it was so exciting because it got me back into the lead again after I had thrown it all away at the ninth."

Quiros was referring to the moment when his good fortune deserted him as he incurred two penalty shots in succession for hitting his ball firstly into a bush and then into a palm tree.

"That was my second triple bogey of the week and that can't be good enough in a field as strong as this one.

"But it was good enough this time. I know I have to improve next time if I want to keep winning."

Quiros, still only 28 but a sound strategist, took the view after his shattering seven that those who were chasing him had not made too much of an impression, so he he carried on regardless.

"My caddie looked at the leaderboard and told me: 'Hey, we've just dropped three shots and we are still second, only one behind,' so we reckoned we were doing fine.

"I thought that if I could recover the same form that I had shown before that hole we would be all right and that's what happened."

James Kingston, who finished in a tie for second with Anders Hansen, thought it would be his day after roaring out of the pack of contenders with an opening burst of three birdies to jump into the lead.

Three more birdies on the back nine got him to 10 under with 12 players still to finish but the South African left the 18th green with mixed feelings after his second successive 67.

"I felt I needed one more - and it was that last putt that could have done it for me," he said.

"Still, all in all I'm pretty pleased with the way I played after almost missing the cut on the first two days."