Col­saerts chases vic­tory at his home from home

The Racing Paper - - Golf | Rugby - by Mitchell Platts

NI­CO­LAS Col­saerts is back in the right place at the right time to con­tinue his birth­day cel­e­bra­tions by cap­tur­ing the Afra­sia Bank Mau­ri­tius Open at Anahita on the Ernie Els­de­signed course at the Four Sea­sons Golf Club.

Col­saerts – 36 years old on Novem­ber 14 – has been the tour­ing pro­fes­sional at the venue on the In­dian Ocean is­land since 2010 and says: “I’m lucky enough to call it my sec­ond home – ev­ery time I come here I’m blown away by the place.”

The Bel­gian lost his way 12 months ago when the event was staged at the Her­itage G.C. which is why he is de­lighted it has re­turned to the Four Sea­sons G.C. where he fin­ished third two years ago.

That was one of his bet­ter per­for­mances since his last Euro­pean Tour suc­cess in 2012 – his sec­ond round 65 when he tamed a wild wind was an ab­so­lute mas­ter­class – but he will have gathered much needed con­fi­dence by mak­ing money from seven of his last eight events on the 2018 sched­ule.

Col­saerts won four ti­tles in four years from 2009, cul­mi­nat­ing in be­ing a mem­ber of the ‘Mir­a­cle in Me­d­i­nah’ Euro­pean Ry­der Cup team, and his pow­er­house game is well suited to the 7,401 yards (par 72) course with space off the tee although the small greens are not easy tar­gets.

Els, who will be 50 next year, is hop­ing a lit­tle in­sider in­for­ma­tion will also help him turn the clock back and he is look­ing for­ward to play­ing one of his own de­signs – “I’m thrilled with the way the course has ma­tured and the way it moves in and out of the trees along the wa­ter gives great va­ri­ety for shot­mak­ing.”

South Korea’s Je­unghun Wang, who beat Bangladeshi Sid­dikur Rah­man in a play-off in 2016, and Italy’s Edoardo Moli­nari, who shot him­self in the foot with a third round 78 that year but con­cluded the 2018 sea­son with sev­eral solid per­for­mances, earn places in the stak­ing plan.

Hope: Ni­co­las Col­saerts

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