ALVARO Quiros claimed the biggest scalps of his career, Tiger Woods and Lee Westwood included, to win the Omega Dubai Desert Classic - and a hole-in-one helped him do it.
The big-hitting Spaniard aced the 161-yard 11th with a “three-quarter wedge”, but still had it all to do when he trailed Dane Anders Hansen by a stroke entering the closing stretch.
Then came a 12-foot birdie putt at the 16th before two pars gave Quiros his fifth European Tour title after Hansen was unable to repair the damage of a bogey on the short 15th.
“It was the perfect shot,” said the 28-year-old of his ace. “Once a year it happens.
“The start was perfect with the eagle on two, but I was shaken after the eighth.
“It was like the last piece of a happy birthday cake. It gave me the chance to win the tournament.”
Quiros, runner-up to Thomas Bjorn in Qatar last week, overcame a triple bogey on the eighth - his ball was stuck up a tree there - and a right-arm strain to fire a four-under-par 68 and win by one at 11-under from Hansen and South African James Kingston.
But as he went to celebrate, he left the tournament’s biggest stars to reflect on where it all went horribly wrong.
Woods, without a victory for almost 15 months, was only two shots back with seven to play, but by the time he dumped his pitch to the last into the lake and took a double-bogey seven he was down in 20th spot. That is the second-worst finish the former world number one has ever had in a regular European Tour event since he turned professional.
Westwood stays as world number one because Martin Kaymer, needing a top-two finish, was down at 31st, but the Englishman’s own 15th place was a big disappointment after being only one behind with four holes remaining.
The Worksop golfer did the same as Quiros by hitting a ball into a tree on the 17th, double-bogeyed and then was in the water on the last like Woods, albeit in an attempt to find the green in two. That led to another six.
Meanwhile, talented Sheffield golfer Danny Willett ended up joint 48th in the standings after finishing on four over par.
As for long-time leader Rory McIlroy, whose only European Tour title came on the same course two years ago, he followed his opening rounds of 65 and 68 with 75-74 to end up only joint 10th.