Ryder Cup rookie flying high before Open

Nicolas Colsaerts will be aiming to impress Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal at the Dutch Open ahead of Ryder Cup.

    Ryder Cup rookie flying high before Open
    Belgium's Nicolas Colsaerts has been catching up on Ryder Cup history on YouTube [AFP]

    Ryder Cup rookie Nicolas Colsaerts hopes to use the opening two rounds of this week's Dutch Open to further impress Europe captain Jose Maria Olazabal.

    Colsaerts will literally be playing under the eye of Olazabal, as they have been grouped with another Europe player, Martin Kaymer, for the first two rounds on the Hilversumsche course in Hilversum.

    The 100th anniversary of the Dutch Open marks Colsaerts' first competition since Olazabal named him as one of two wild cards for the cup at the end of the month outside Chicago.

    "I'm looking forward to the two days,'' the Belgian golfer said on Wednesday.

    "I've just had a conversation with Paul McGinley, one of the vice captains, and part of the reason for playing this week and next week in Italy is to see everyone and talk to people involved in the Ryder Cup.

    "I want to make sure I show up at Medinah in the best state of mind.''

    First, he's having to accept congratulations at seemingly every turn. He's also trying to get to know his new teammates better.

    "When you look at who is in the team, I can't compare myself to players like Westwood, Garcia, Donald, who have been playing for 10 years, so you do feel like a rookie,'' he said.

    "My expectations are that I will bring as much to the team as I can. My main goal is to win points but I don't really know what to expect.

    "I played a lot of team events when I was young so I won't be afraid to put myself forward and speak in the team room. And I want to make sure I will be a great partner to play with.

    "This is all very exciting."

    Family joy

    Colsaerts admitted he's spent a lot of the past week undergoing a crash course on Ryder Cup history.

    "I don't know how many hours I have spent in the last week on YouTube looking at footage, even though I have seen it all before, knowing I will be part of it,'' he said.

    "I said to Paul I watched footage of Christy O'Connor Jr. competing and it was so cool.

    "My father (Patrick) still has not touched the ground. He is flying so I couldn't be happier for them as I owe a lot to my parents. It is the only way I could have given back to them"

    Nicolas Colsaerts

    Colsaerts also disclosed how he had trouble composing himself before officially joining Olazabal on stage at last week's announcement of the Europe team in England.

    "My mother Daniele phoned two minutes before the announcement and she was in tears, which wasn't the best preparation for going onto the stage, as I nearly cracked the same way,'' he said.

    "My father (Patrick) still has not touched the ground. He is flying so I couldn't be happier for them as I owe a lot to my parents. It is the only way I could have given back to them.''

    Colsaerts is contesting the Dutch Open for a 10th occasion. His best finish was eighth in 2010.

    Kaymer, at No. 29 in the world, is the tournament's highest ranked player. 

    England's Simon Dyson, ranked 48th, is the defending champion.

    SOURCE: AP


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