Quiros happy to be back in the swing of things

Spaniard to make first appearance in four months at Avantha Masters in India on Thursday

 David Howell  tees off on the first hole during a practice round for the Avantha Masters in Delhi. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

David Howell tees off on the first hole during a practice round for the Avantha Masters in Delhi. Photograph: Julian Finney/Getty Images

Wed, Mar 13, 2013, 15:33

Spain ’s Alvaro Quiros will look to shake off the rust and boredom of a four-month spell on the sidelines when he returns to action in the Avantha Masters tomorrow.

Quiros’ last appearance on the European Tour came in early November last year, when he finished a disappointing campaign with a tie for 65th place at the WGC-HSBC Champions at Mission Hills in China.

Ending the season 73rd on the Race to Dubai meant he was unable to defend his title in the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, although by then the pain from a serious wrist injury made surgery a more pressing concern.

The 30-year-old therefore went under the knife on November 20th and is now itching to return and begin climbing back up the world rankings from his present position of 119th.

“It feels great to be back,” Quiros said after completing 18 holes in the pre-tournament pro-am at Jaypee Greens Golf & Spa Resort in Noida, near New Delhi. “I’ve been a bit bored at home, so I’m really pleased to be playing golf again.

“My wrist feels fine and I’m not in any pain. It feels a little bit weak when I hit shots out of the rough, so I need to build up the strength a little bit. But I’m happy with how the operation went, so I’m really looking forward to getting the tournament started. It will all feel new to me again.”

Until last year, Quiros had improved his position on the money list every season and claimed at least one victory, with two wins in Dubai in 2011 seeing him finish a career-best sixth.

He added: “Last season was very disappointing and although it was obviously frustrating to have the surgery, the break was probably a good thing. I didn’t pick up a club for over three months and now I can’t wait to get playing again.

“I’ve been working very hard in the gym. I feel a lot fitter, even though I probably spent quite a lot of time sitting on the couch. But it was good to catch up with friends and family because when you’re travelling so much you don’t always get the time to do that.

“But now I want to get back to my job, which is playing golf. It’s going to take me a little while to get rid of the rust and get back to where I was. But I’m looking forward to the next three weeks and if I can play all 12 rounds, I’ll be very happy.”

The field also includes former eight-time Order of Merit winner Colin Montgomerie and ex-Ryder Cup players Niclas Fasth, David Howell , Ignacio Garrido, Phillip Price and Edoardo Molinari.

Peter Lawrie, Michael Hoey and Gareth Maybin will be flying the flag for Ireland.

Howell has recorded two top-10 finishes in 2013 as he continues to seek the sort of form which once saw him ranked inside the world’s top 10.

“I’m in a good run of form so I come into the week in confident mood and if not expecting to do well then at least knowing that it’s a distinct possibility,” the world number 187 said.

“When you’re in a bit of a slump, you can’t really see a way out of it. But bit by bit over the past year the results have picked up and my confidence and belief have come back. I certainly feel a lot more confident now than I was a year ago and it’s no coincidence that my game is also a lot better now.”