Alvaro Quiros closes with birdie to take one-shot lead in Morocco

Big-hitting Spaniard cards 72 to hold on to the lead at Hassan Trophy

 Alvaro Quiros of Spain plays his third shot on the eighth  hole during the third round of the Trophee Hassan II at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam on April 21, 2018 in Rabat, Morocco. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

Alvaro Quiros of Spain plays his third shot on the eighth hole during the third round of the Trophee Hassan II at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam on April 21, 2018 in Rabat, Morocco. Photograph: Andrew Redington/Getty Images

 

Alvaro Quiros found a birdie at the last to retain the outright lead heading into the final round of the Hassan Trophy in Morocco.

The big-hitting Spaniard carded a level-par 72 at Royal Golf Dar Es Salam to hold a one-shot lead over Finland’s Mikko Ilonen, France’s Alex Levy and South African pair Christiaan Bezuidenhout and Erik van Rooyen.

The 35-year-old Quiros was 21st in the world rankings after winning his sixth European Tour title in 2011, but fell as low as 703rd before landing his seventh victory at last year’s Rocco Forte Open in Sicily.

That success failed to spark a revival, with Quiros missing the cut in 16 of the 19 events he had played since, before rediscovering his form this week.

“I have to recognise that it felt a little bit like Russian roulette,” Quiros said. “Suddenly great shot, suddenly not that good, but I have to really believe that I fight very nicely, and that’s the most important thing.

“I’m happy to finish in level par today because it was my tricky day, I want to think, so hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

“The truth is I will need to see how my game is waking up tomorrow to believe in being able to shoot a decent score that allows me to fight for the title or not.

“Obviously the players that we have over there are very good, all of them, too, so we will see.

“That’s why we are here, to be leading tournaments and being able to develop.”

Starting the day with a one-shot advantage, Quiros bogeyed the opening hole but recovered the shot after a lucky bounce on the third.

Quiros and Van Rooyen were two clear at the turn, but the latter found sand at the 10th and bogeyed.

A poor drive on the 13th meant Quiros had to hole from 15 feet just to limit the damage to a single shot at the 13th as he and Van Rooyen were joined at the top of the leaderboard by clubhouse leader Ilonen and Levy.

Quiros restored his advantage with a birdie on the 15th only to give the shot back following a poor drive at the next.

However, he found the green in two at the par-five 18th and duly two-putted for birdie to separate himself from the leading pack.

Ilonen had seven birdies in a round of 66, Levy signed for a 69, Bezuidenhout posted a 68 and Van Rooyen was round in 71.

Former winner Jeunghun Wang and Canada’s Austin Connelly share sixth on five under, with England’s Andy Sullivan and Wales’ Bradley Dredge the leading British players on three under.

SCORES

British unless stated, par 72

209 Alvaro Quiros (Esp) 67 70 72

210 Alexander Levy (Fra) 72 69 69, Mikko Ilonen (Fin) 72 72 66, Christiaan Bezuidenhout (Rsa) 73 69 68, Erik Van Rooyen (Rsa) 68 71 71

211 Jeunghun Wang (Kor) 73 71 67, Austin Connelly (Can) 69 71 71

212 Joost Luiten (Ned) 72 70 70, Alexander Bjork (Swe) 74 69 69, Joakim Lagergren (Swe) 68 73 71, Andrew Dodt (Aus) 70 68 74

213 Andy Sullivan 72 72 69, Brandon Stone (Rsa) 74 70 69, Benjamin Hebert (Fra) 71 70 72, Yusaku Miyazato (Jpn) 73 70 70, Bradley Dredge 67 73 73

214 Paul Waring 72 69 73, Callum Shinkwin 70 72 72, Ryan Fox (Nzl) 72 71 71, Wade Ormsby (Aus) 71 75 68, Richard Sterne (Rsa) 71 73 70

216 Andrea Pavan (Ita) 75 71 70, David Horsey 76 69 71, Mikko Korhonen (Fin) 75 68 73, Sean Crocker (USA) 71 74 71, Lee Slattery 69 76 71

217 Ashun Wu (Chn) 69 73 75, Jorge Campillo (Esp) 73 73 71, Aaron Rai 71 71 75, Raphael Jacquelin (Fra) 70 73 74, Henric Sturehed (Swe) 76 69 72, Marcel Siem (Ger) 71 71 75, Robert Rock 74 71 72, Seung-su Han (USA) 70 73 74, Pedro Oriol (Esp) 72 75 70, Soomin Lee (Kor) 76 69 72

218 Maximilian Kieffer (Ger) 70 75 73, Matthew Nixon 71 74 73, Jamie Donaldson 73 73 72, Nacho Elvira (Esp) 70 73 75, Romain Langasque (Fra) 71 73 74, Adrian Otaegui (Esp) 70 75 73

219 Mike Lorenzo-Vera (Fra) 71 74 74, Richie Ramsay 73 73 73, Tapio Pulkkanen (Fin) 74 72 73, Marc Warren 73 71 75, Ryan Evans 73 74 72, Jordan Smith 74 73 72, Thomas Detry (Bel) 73 71 75, Marcus Fraser (Aus) 75 72 72

220 Steven Brown 70 75 75, Darren Fichardt (Rsa) 71 75 74, Renato Paratore (Ita) 73 74 73, Josh Geary (Nzl) 74 73 73, Laurie Canter 73 72 75, Chris Hanson 72 74 74, Lorenzo Gagli (Ita) 68 75 77, Marcel Schneider (Ger) 74 73 73, Nino Bertasio (Ita) 70 76 74

221 Phachara Khongwatmai (Tha) 72 73 76, Ricardo Gouveia (Por) 73 73 75, Romain Wattel (Fra) 73 74 74, David Howell 73 72 76, Matteo Manassero (Ita) 73 74 74, Gregory Bourdy (Fra) 72 75 74, Oliver Fisher 68 75 78

222 Ahmed Marjan (Mor) 73 73 76, James Heath 77 70 75, Daniel Brooks 70 74 78, Ayoub Id-Omar (a) (Mor) 73 73 76

223 Pontus Widegren (Swe) 72 75 76, Connor Syme 73 73 77

224 Jamie Elson 74 73 77, Thomas Pieters (Bel) 74 72 78

228 Jonathan Thomson 71 76 81

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.