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Reversal Of Fortune

by Mike Cullity

Álvaro Quirós is back among the big boys.

The 34-year-old Spanish bomber resurrected his once-formidable game and regained his European Tour card with a playoff victory Sunday at the European Tour’s Rocco Forte Open in picturesque Sicily.

Ranked as high as 21st in the world in 2011, a year in which he posted two of his six previous European Tour victories, Quirós spiraled after a swing change, lost his card and ranked 703rd in the world at the start of last week. So much for a summer he’d have otherwise spent visiting far-flung Challenge Tour locales.

Across the pond in Virginia, Lexi Thompson achieved redemption for her recent rules travails with a victory at the LPGA’s Kingsmill Championship. After skydiving onto the first fairway before the Wednesday pro-am, the 22-year-old Floridian put on a clinic, posting three 65s in four rounds to win by five strokes.

In Texas, former world No. 1 Jason Day appeared set to resume his winning ways, but his missed tiddler on the first playoff hole handed victory at the PGA Tour’s AT&T Byron Nelson to Billy Horschel, who hadn’t won since the 2014 Tour Championship that clinched him the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus. Though Day was no doubt kicking himself for his late lapse, his game is trending in the right direction as the U.S. Open approaches.

Meanwhile in Alabama, Bernhard Langer burnished his legend by successfully defending his title in the Regions Tradition, the season’s first senior major. Although he’s pushing 60, Langer remains a dominant wonder in senior golf – his victory Sunday was his eighth in a senior major and 31st PGA Tour Champions title overall – and he has no plans to retire soon.

 

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