Resurgent Quiros leads in Italy
Alvaro Quiros is halfway there to what would be a very important victory after a second-round 64 at the Rocco Forte Open on Friday.
The Spaniard was once ranked as high as 21st in the world, but made a series of unsuccessful swing changes that saw him plummet outside the top 700 and lose his European Tour card.
All that would change if he were to win at Verdura this week, and he gave himself a superb chance of doing just that after following up an opening 63 with a 64 on Friday.
That took him to the top of the pile heading into the weekend on 15 under par, two shots clear of his nearest challengers, Michael Hoey and Sebastian Soderberg.
The second-placed duo held the lead overnight and stayed solid with a pair of 68s, though that was not enough to hold off a rampant Quiros.
The Spaniard has taken his game back to the fundamentals that made him a six-time European Tour winner, and it appears to be working.
He took a while to get going on Friday, but after eight straight pars he once again caught fire, eagling the ninth and birdying the 12th before going on a run of four straight birdies from the 15th – all from putts of 12 feet or more.
"It's a very nice situation," he said. "It's a long time ago since I had the option. My game today was a little bit worse than yesterday but my putting on the back nine was unbelievable so I'm very happy with it.
"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.
"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."
Also in the running are Zander Lombard and David Horsey, who trail Hoey and Soderberg by a shot, while Jose-Filipe Lima joins Raphael Jacquelin and Mark Foster on 11 under.
New Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald motivated by ‘bitter’ memories of 2021 defeat
Stenson was stripped of the role for breaking his contract by joining the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
The task facing Luke Donald after replacing Henrik Stenson
Stenson was appointed on March 15 and said he was fully committed to a role before signing with the Saudi-backed LIV Golf series.
Tony Finau claims second straight PGA Tour victory
The American won the 3M Open in his previous outing.
Henrik Stenson cushions Ryder Cup blow with £3.6m debut win in LIV Golf
The Swede was stripped of his role as Europe captain after joining the Saudi-backed breakaway tour.
Former Masters champion Bubba Watson becomes latest player to join LIV Golf
The left-hander is currently sidelined by a knee injury and is not expected to play until next season,
Luke Donald tipped to replace Henrik Stenson as Europe’s Ryder Cup captain
The Swede lost the job 127 days after his appointment following his decision to join the LIV Golf series.
Max Homa: Tiger Woods now understands the respect he commands from his peers
Homa has made no secret of his admiration for Woods.
Bernard Gallacher fears Greg Norman is not the man for compromise with LIV Golf
Players who have resigned from the PGA Tour to join LIV Golf will not be eligible for next year’s Ryder Cup.
Brooke Henderson takes two-shot lead into final round of Evian Championship
South Korea’s Ryu So-yeon climbed into outright second place on 15 under.