Nicolas Colsaerts, Belgian Golf Player Dude, Makes Ryder Cup History

From his two word Twitter bio (Golf Player) to his self-designated role as "team dude", Ryder Cup rookie Nicolas Colsaerts seems to favor understatement when it comes to self-description.

A decade-long quest to win on the European Tour... including four trips back to Q-School... appears to have imbued the 29-year-old Belgian with playful pragmatism that's quite refreshing in the often bombastic world of professional sports.

Today, after making history as the first Belgian to play on a Ryder Cup team, Colsaerts is receiving plentiful praise for a performance that's being called the greatest rookie round in Ryder Cup history. And he's trending on Twitter.  So one might wonder if the newly celebrated golfer will be able to hold on to his trademark reserve.  In any case, we can be pretty sure Dufner/ZJohnson vs Colsaerts/Garcia will be a much watched match tomorrow am. ... and for a little more background on the now famous Belgian golfer here's a post we did on him a while back.

Perseverance Pays Off for Nicolas Colsaerts - April 25, 2011

When I think of Belgium I think of beer.. or Brel... but I don't generally think of professional golfers.

In fact the last time a Belgian won on the European Tour was almost three decades ago when Phillipe Toussaint edged out Bob Shearer in a sudden death playoff at the Benson & Hedges Festival of Golf in 1974.

However, for the past ten years there's been a young man striving to put the Kingdom of Belgium back onto the top of the leaderboard, and yesterday he succeeded, with his breakthrough victory at the Volvo China Open.

His name is Nicolas Colsaerts, but they call him the "Belgian Bomber" because of his prodigious power game. The 29 year-old is a big hitter.  Really big. Longest-drive-on-the-European-Tour big.
I know... you probably thought that honor belonged to Alvaro Quiros... so did I... but it actually belongs to the Belgian, and on Saturday at Luxehills International Country Club he demonstrated with a flourish on the 18th hole, a 600-yard par five. Colsaerts hit driver then seven-iron and hit the green in two.  Then two-putted for a birdie and a 66 on the day.  That after a 65-67 in rounds one and two. With a final round 66 he took the title, four strokes clear of Soren Kjeldsen, Peter Lawrie, Pablo Martin and Danny Lee in a four way tie.

Though he's not yet 30 it's been a long and circuitous route for Nicolas Colsaerts who's visited Qualifying School four times since he first made it onto the European tour in 2000. He now finds himself at 10th in the Race to Dubai and at 107 in the world rankings.

With his power game, years of experience... and now, this breakthrough win... we'll most likely be hearing more about Nicolas Colsaerts, which might just inspire me to buy a couple of six packs of Duvel and get some Jacques Brel onto my iPod. As if I needed an excuse for that.

Photo by Ian Walton/Getty Images AsiaPac