Date: October 20, 2008

Spaniard wins for Seve

Powerful young Spaniard Alvaro Quiros proved there is more to his game than just booming drives as he produced a three-shot victory at the Oceanico Portuguese Masters. The 25-year-old showed he has strength of character to go with his power as he held off a determined challenge from European Tour Order of Merit leader Robert Karlsson and England&aposs Ross Fisher. And he clinched the 395,000-pound first prize – the biggest of his career – in some style, calmly sinking a five-foot birdie putt on the 18th green at the Victoria Club in Vilamoura to complete a final-round four-under-par 68 for a 19-under total. Richard Green, the only Australian to make the cut, finished in a share of 42nd place at four-under. Karlsson, who had been hot favourite to clinch his third successive Tour victory after wins in the German Masters and the Dunhill Links Championship, eventually had to settle for a share of third place after a series of mistakes. Instead, the runner-up spot went to Scotland&aposs Paul Lawrie, who produced his best tournament finish for three years. The 1999 British Open champion had previously only managed one top-10 finish this year but signed for a final-round 67. But at the end of a week when all Spanish golfing attention has been devoted to the failing health of golfing legend Seve Ballesteros, the emergence of another exciting young star from that country will be welcomed. Quiros sign-posted his ability with his victory in the 2007 Dunhill Championship in South Africa but that field could not compare to the one in Vilamoura, which contained six members of the recent European Ryder Cup team. But it is not only his length that will attract golf fans across Europe but his engaging sense of humour, which was evident from the first tee when he starting cracking jokes with his two playing partners. He had to get up early to complete his third round after a thunderstorm forced play to be abandoned early on Saturday night. And in completing five holes he moved one shot ahead of the field. It was an advantage he did not hold onto for long when, after outrageously birdying the opening hole with a 50-foot putt, he immediately bogeyed the second. It was the start of an afternoon when the lead was to change hands regularly. A birdie at the second took Fisher to the top of the leaderboard and after an early dropped shot, Karlsson then produced three birdies on the trot. But the tournament was finally sorted on the back nine as Fisher dropped back with a run of three successive bogeys and Karlsson found water at the 17th. The Swede now only leads Padraig Harrington by around 246,000 pounds in the money list heading for the Volvo Masters, when victory for Karlsson would have almost certainly settled the Order of Merit title. For Quiros there is now a place in the Tournament of Champions in Shanghai, and throughout his round Ballesteros was never far from his thoughts. “My caddy told me that Seve always wanted to beat everybody and today I drew inspiration from thinking about the way he played his golf,” said Quiros. Portugal Masters, Oceanico Victoria Golf Course Results Round 4 (Par 72) -19: Alvaro Quiros 66 68 67 68 -16: Paul Lawrie 70 65 70 67 -15: Ross Fisher 67 70 65 71, Robert Karlsson 69 67 66 71, Steve Webster 72 67 76 68 -14: James Kingston 69 71 64 70 -13: Gregory Bourdy 69 67 68 71, Simon Dyson 71 69 67 68, Soren Hansen 73 65 65 72 -12: Rory McIlroy 69 69 69 69, Anthony Wall 72 66 70 68, Chris Wood 73 70 68 65 -11: Andrew McLardy 67 75 66 69 -10: David Lynn 70 69 68 71, Stuart Manley 65 68 73 72 Also: -4: Richard Green (Australia) 71 69 72 72