x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Leader Alvaro Quiros prefers to look on the bright side of things

The Spaniard is upbeat in spite of his lead being cut to two shots at the Dubai World Championship.

Alvaro Quiros did not have the best of outings at the Dubai World Championship on Saturday and is only two clear of Paul Lawrie, but the Spaniard nevertheless looks good to clinch his sixth European Tour title.
Alvaro Quiros did not have the best of outings at the Dubai World Championship on Saturday and is only two clear of Paul Lawrie, but the Spaniard nevertheless looks good to clinch his sixth European Tour title.

DUBAI // Alvaro Quiros, the Dubai World Championship third-round leader, promised to keep on smiling as he heads around the Earth Course on Sunday.

The Spaniard, who at 14-under par for the tournament is two clear of second-place Paul Lawrie, sees no reason why he should hide the fact he loves his job as he seeks to secure his sixth European Tour win.

His round of 70 on Saturday would have been even better had he not bogeyed the last hole, when it took him three attempts to sink his ball from the edge of the green.

But Quiros said he would not be letting that mistake get him down.

"There has never been anything that happened to me on the golf course to make me stop smiling," said the 28 year old, who had started the day with a four-shot cushion.

"There is no reason not to smile; I am leading. My focus is to enjoy myself every day on the golf course. If I'm happy then I stay positive and even the bad days are a little better.

"This is an ideal target, is it not?"

Quiros, who hits the ball farther than anyone else on tour, was beaming from ear to ear at his best shot of the day, which came at the long seventh hole.

He hit a four iron 220 yards from the middle of the fairway that just trickled past the hole, for what would have been an albatross, before he tapped in for an eagle.

Asked if there was any fear as he looked ahead to one of the biggest days of his career in today's final round, the Dubai Desert Classic winner shook his head.

"Fear is a big word and it's too serious," he said.

"I spend three quarters of my life playing golf, so what is there to fear?

"I am still leading the tournament and while today wasn't one of my best ones, I still hit some good shots, holed some putts, and that is the only thing that matters."

Paul Lawrie is breathing down the Iberian's neck a further two shots back after the Scotsman got around in 66 to finish at 12 under.

Five birdies and a superb eagle putt on the last, which travelled 40 feet and snaked right to left, gave Lawrie, who came into this week 56th on the money list and 163rd in the world rankings, a chance of his biggest triumph since winning the British Open in 1999.

The 42 year old has never been involved in this tournament before and now finds himself with the chance of a second 2011 victory to go along with his win at the Andalusia Open in March.

"I am really looking forward to playing in the final group with Alvaro in such a big tournament," he said. "It's going to be a big test."

Lawrie's mood was in stark contrast to how he felt on Friday when he carded a second-round score of 73.

He put Saturday's improved performance down to some serious practice time.

"I was always someone who practised hard, I've never really been lazy, I just thought that if I'm going to step it up then I needed to work a bit harder," he said.

"I hit a couple of bucket of balls here on Friday, didn't leave until it was dark, and then played a lot better today."

ncameron@thenational.ae


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