Nicolas Colsaerts posts eight birdies in a row to set-up a two-shot lead after the first round of the 2015 Italian Open

Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts posted eight birdies in a row yesterday to set-up a first-round lead in the 2015 Italian Open at Golf Club Milano. Colsaerts ultimately signed for an immaculate 63, nine par, to lead by two from India’s Shiv Kapur, home hero Francesco Molinari and Sweden’s Kristoffer Broberg.

Having began his first round at the 10th among the early starters, Colsaerts birdied holes 14 through to number three, added another at the eighth and finished with an unblemished scorecard of nine pars and nine birdies. One more birdie at the fourth hole from Colsaerts would have been nine in a row and a new European Tour record, unofficially anyway, as the field at GC Milano were permitted preferred lies for the first round. In European Tour history, 10 players have officially recorded eight birdies in a row, but not since Australia’s Craig Spence in the 2003 Johnnie Walker Classic.

“I have been playing quite well for a while and waiting for a round like this when it all comes together,” said Colsaerts, 32, after his round. “Today it was great and it is nice to see the work you are doing paying off for a change. The course is not long and the back nine is very scoreable so I think the winning score will be pretty low, but that’s good – I think most people want to see birdies and eagles.”

Colsaerts has a history of hot streaks, most notably from when he notched eight birdies and an eagle on his Ryder Cup debut at Medinah in 2012. The first Belgian to play in the Ryder Cup, Colsaerts was partnering Lee Westwood in the Friday fourballs against Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker, and while his experienced English playing partner did not post a red number once in the match, Colsaerts’ spectacular display saw them to a 1-up victory.

Colsaerts has not won on tour since that 2012 Ryder Cup, but he could ignite his Race to Dubai challenge with a win this week.

Story courtesy of Mercedes-Benz, Official Partner of the Italian Open 2015