Colsaerts pursues new goal
US TOUR:TWO WEEKS after a winning Ryder Cup debut, Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts could have something else to celebrate in a few days.
The 29-year-old hopes an invitation to the Frys.comOpen in California will enable him to clinch a PGA Tour card for next season.
“When you get a chance to play this Tour with all these players, the courses you play and on such a big stage, it would be stupid not to consider it,” Colsaerts said.
“Once you get a taste of what the possibilities here are, they get you pretty excited.”
To qualify for membership without going to the qualifying school he has to match the earnings of the player 125th on this year’s money list. With three events to go Colsaerts would be 120th at present, his eight appearances including seventh-placed finishes at both the British Open and Wyndham Championship.
Those performances helped him earn a wild card from Jose Maria Olazabal and he repaid the Spaniard with a breathtaking eagle and eight birdies in a first day fourball win with Lee Westwood against Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.
It proved to be his only point, but with Europe winning so dramatically by one it was a week he will never forget.
“This has been the wildest rollercoaster ride I’ve ever been on,” he said. “Emotionally, it’s something indescribable, especially the way we did it.
“Most of all you feel very proud to be part of an exceptional bunch of guys that made history.
“I’ve dreamed of playing Ryder Cup since I was really young and to be part of such an unbelievable history is something I’m very proud of.
“It gives you a bit of confidence. If you can deal with a lot of pressure you’ll be able to deal with a lot more stuff in the future.”
Colsaerts plays the opening two rounds alongside England’s Gary Christian, who at the age of 40 came through the Nationwide Tour last year for a first crack at the big league. He is currently ranked 122nd.
The field also includes his compatriot Greg Owen and British Open champion Ernie Els, who competed last week in Scotland.
Course: CordeValle Golf Cub, San Martin, California.
Prize money: €3.8 million (€700,000 to the winner)
Length: 7,368 yards. Par: 711. Field: 132.
The layout: Situated in the hills and canyons in northern California, it is a stunning course. Well placed bunkers, streams and large oak trees dominate the course which has proved to be no pushover. The 480 yards par four sixth is considered the toughest hole.
Last year: Bryce Molder won after an epic six hole play-off.
Type of player suited to challenge: Powerful player with a warm putter.
Key attribute: Touch.
Weather forecast: Fog to start.
On TV: Sky Sports (9pm tonight).