Quiros holds on for victory

Dubai proved a happy hunting ground for Alvaro Quiros as he won the Dubai World Championship by two shots on Sunday.

Dubai proved a happy hunting ground for Spaniard Alvaro Quiros as he won the Dubai World Championship by two shots on Sunday.

Quiros also triumphed at the Omega Dubai Desert Classic earlier in the year, and he completed a double of his own at Jumeirah Golf Estates today when he closed with a final-round five-under-par 67 to finish on 19 under par and win by two shots over Scotland’s Paul Lawrie, who equalled his 67.

England’s Luke Donald finished third a further shot back after a superb 66 to claim the Race to Dubai money list title and make history by becoming the first man to top the money list on both sides of the Atlantic.

Quiros finished his round in fine style, holing a monster eagle putt on the 18th green to seal the win.

Starting the day leading by two, Quiros soon extended his advantage by birdying the first three holes, but the job was far from done. Two bogeys and two birdies followed in the next four holes before another bogey at the ninth saw him turn in 34.

Lawrie, meanwhile, produced a flawless five-birdie front nine 31 to take a one-shot lead at that stage, but he bogeyed the 12th while Quiros used his enormous length off the tee to birdie the par-five 14th and retake the lead.

His eagle on the final hole put the result beyond any question.

Lawrie birdied the 18th as well, but it was not enough to prevent the Spaniard from picking up his second win of the season.

The win rockets Quiros up to 21st in the world – just in time to secure a place in next year’s Masters Tournament.

“From the beginning Paul was holing every single putt that he had,” said Quiros, who collected a whopping €922,645 and moved up to sixth in The Race to Dubai.

“I was trying to enjoy the moment, and fight until the end. At least if you don’t win the title, you’re going to be close, and that’s something positive.

“In general, it was a very good day of golf between him and me, and obviously Luke at the end, who obviously wants to finish with our own party again. It’s unbelievable. You can never leave behind this guy. He’s always coming back.

“Yesterday I heard a statistic about him about the third round, that he played 67.5. That’s unbelievable. Obviously he feels very well under pressure.”

Lawrie moved up to 18th place on the Race to Dubai with his second place finish, still outside of the top 15 that get to claim a share of the $7,500,000 bonus pool, but it’s his best performance on the European Tour since 2002.

“I think anybody would tell you they are disappointed not to win,” he said. “I probably did enough to have a chance coming down 18, and that’s all you can do. Alvaro, he’s got at least 250 yards uphill into the wind on 18 with a three wood off a hanging lie. Any time you make a three off that lie, he’s a worthy winner.

“I’ve enjoyed it. I have not played here before and it’s been a great week and second is better than third.

“It’s a big event, it’s a big field, some great players. You’re talking about Luke Donald, the first person to win the Order of Merit on both sides of the Atlantic. I fished a shot ahead of Luke this week – that’s massive for me.”

Sweden’s Peter Hanson finished fourth after a 67 to claim a share of bonus pool, while Charl Schwartzel shot a 67 as well to finish fifth.

Rory McIlroy closed with his third straight 71 to finish on nine under, tied for 11th. In the end, his challenge for the Race to Dubai faded as the Northern Irishman failed to overcome the health issues that had been plaguing him all week.

“I couldn’t get anything going when I needed to,” said McIlroy, who has pulled out of next week’s Thailand Golf Championship.

“I played a nine-hole stretch, the last two on Friday and the first seven on Saturday, in five over par. That’s where the tournament got away from me.

“But Luke deserves it. Basically every time he’s teed it up he’s had a chance or he’s finished in the top five or top 10.

“I can’t wait to have a few weeks off now. The doctor told me that no matter how bad I’m feeling now I’d be even worse if I played next week.”