AUGUSTA, Ga. -- Pretty good for a guy with the self-professed touch of a "bricklayer."
Spain's big-hitting Alvaro Quiros, who professed to having hands of stone compared to countryman and two-time Masters champion Seve Ballesteros, beat his personal best at Augusta National by a whopping 10 strokes on Thursday with a 7-under 65 to claim a share of the lead with Rory McIlroy.
Quiros, an emerging European Tour bomber who missed the cut in his two previous Masters appearances and had never posted a score better than 75, birdied three of the last four holes while playing in the final group of the day to tie McIlroy, whom he happened to run into Wednesday night in the Augusta Mall.
Odd that the two co-leaders, staying in the second-biggest city in Georgia, would intersect on the eve of the tournament, no? McIlroy was buying an American football and accompanied by several friends when he saw Quiros, an extrovert if ever there was one.
"I was watching Rory play with a rugby ball with his friends in the middle of the parking lot," Quiros said, laughing. "Did he tell you that? He was doing terrible."
Quiros, 28, has charisma to burn and plenty of energy, too. At least he did Thursday, when he chatted non-stop with his caddie, who is in his first week on the bag. Quiros sacked his former bagman and hired Robert Karlsson's old looper.
"It's like in soccer, or in football," he said. "When a team is playing bad, you cannot change the 22 players. The only thing that you can change is the coach, isn't it? In my case, it's the same. You know, I cannot change myself. Well, I'm trying to change myself but it doesn't work."
A few weeks ago, Quiros said he had the hands of a bricklayer compared to Ballesteros, whom he called an artist.
"The hands of a bricklayer, everybody knows I'm not the most skillful guy with a 58 [degree wedge] in the hands," he laughed.
By the way, Quiros might be right about McIlroy's passing form. Check out this Twitter picture Rory posted on Thursday night.