Alvaro Quiros no longer MIA, leads Rocco Forte Open after Round 2

Alvaro Quiros leads after Round 2 of the Rocco Forte Open Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Alvaro Quiros no longer MIA, leads Rocco Forte Open after Round 2

Euro Tour

Alvaro Quiros no longer MIA, leads Rocco Forte Open after Round 2

Add Alvaro Quiros’s name to a long list of can’t-miss players who went missing in action. The Spaniard can change that with two more good rounds.

The long-hitting Quiros holds the halfway lead in the $1.1 million Rocco Forte Open in Sicily. The 34-year-old added a second-round 64 to his opening 63 to sit on 15-under-par after 36 holes. He’s four shots ahead of first-round leaders Michael Hoey of Northern Ireland and Sweden’s Sebastian Soderberg.

Quiros was flawless during the second round, with an eagle, five birdies and no dropped shots. He began with eight straight pars before using his length to eagle the par-5, ninth hole. He then reeled off five birdies on the back nine to come home in 30 shots. 

“My game today was a little bit worse than yesterday, but my putting on the back nine was unbelievable so I’m very happy,” Quiros said. 

“Sometimes I’ve been very greedy, trying to force myself into a better score when the game wasn’t good, and today I have to be proud of myself. Eight consecutive pars was the typical situation for me to blow my mind because I’m not shooting low. Today was a big step mentally speaking, trying to be patient.”

Quiros arguably shouldn’t be playing in a low-budget European Tour event featuring a cast of mainly B-list players. He’s a six-time European Tour winner and a player once pegged as a future European Ryder Cup player. However, his game has been in freefall the last few years. From a high of 21 in the world in January 2012, Quiros is now 703rd. Worse still, he doesn’t have a full European Tour card.

His five-year exemption for winning the 2011 Dubai World Championship, one of two tournaments he won that year along with the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, ran out last year. However, he finished 134th on the 2016 money list and lost his playing privileges. That means he’s playing in Sicily this week instead of the $10 million BMW PGA Championship next.

Quiros made the same mistake most can’t-miss players make: he tried to change his swing to get to that so called mythical next level and lost his game. He’s returned to basics to try to get back to the top of the European Tour food chain.

A win this week would help Quiros’s comeback, but he’s not getting ahead of himself with 36 holes to go.

“I’m not going to fix my situation in one day or one tournament so hopefully I can keep working, still adding good rounds and hopefully at the end of the year come back to the Tour.”

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