Nicolas Colsaerts wins battle of the big-hitters

LARRY FINE
Last updated 11:45 14/06/2013

Relevant offers

Golf

Reason: Ah, the warmth of Hoylake memories Ogilvy in danger of missing US PGA Tour playoffs Open winner Rory McIlroy 'cocky in a nice way' Time out for Lydia Ko before big month of golf Lydia Ko wins LPGA Tour's Marathon Classic New Zealand Golf names Eisenhower team Lydia Ko becoming LPGA's queen of selfies Rory McIlroy holds his nerve to win British Open Steve Alker misses in Boise Open playoff Rory McIlroy's dad wins big after son's victory

Nicolas Colsaerts of Belgium won an early battle of the big-hitters at the US Open, outscoring fellow bombers Dustin Johnson and 2012 Masters winner Bubba Watson in the first round.

Colsaerts teed off with Johnson and the left-handed Watson as the first players off the 11th tee and shot a one-under par 69 to finish two shots behind clubhouse leader Phil Mickelson in the weather-interrupted opening round at Merion.

Watson and Johnson both registered one-over-par rounds of 71 in a first round that was halted for three and a half hours due to lightning and heavy rain.

"Being paired with two very good players, it feels good to play good on a big stage like this," said Colsaerts. "It is cool, especially on big tournaments like this, when you see big names up against you."

Colsaerts, 30, was a big hit at last year's Ryder Cup on the outskirts of Chicago, demonstrating his skills and long-driving ability with an impressive debut in Europe's narrow win over the United States.

He was selected by European captain Jose Maria Olazabal as a wildcard pick after winning last year's Volvo World Match Play Championship and immediately showed why he was chosen.

On the first day of the Ryder Cup, he carded eight birdies and an eagle in teaming up with Englishman Lee Westwood to defeat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

Colsaerts missed his last two cuts on the PGA Tour this season after finishing tied for eighth at the Zurich Classic, but provided a reminder of what he is capable of at Merion on Thursday.

"I don't think I've really peaked anytime during the season," said Colsaerts.

"It's not very far off. When you get to play courses that are pretty demanding, anything can happen, just as is proven today."

Ad Feedback

- Reuters

Special offers
Opinion poll

When do you think Lydia Ko will win a Major, if at all?

She's so good it will definitely be this year

Within the next three years

Golf's a hard game. It could take her years

Sorry, I just don't think she's got the goods to win a Major

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content