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Tuesday, 16 July 2013
Nicolas Colsaerts   (Getty Images)
Nicolas Colsaerts (Getty Images)
Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts is confident of making an impression at The Open Championship on his first visit to Muirfield this week.

The Belgian believes he is closing in on a Major breakthrough as he familiarises himself with the East Lothian course ahead of the start of the tournament on Thursday.

Colsaerts, 30, finished tenth at the US Open in June and enjoyed his best Major placing of tied seventh at Royal Lytham last year.

He is also in good heart after a strong showing at last week's Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart Golf Links, where he finished joint eighth after four sub-70 rounds.

Colsaerts, who showed his liking for the big time with the best round by a Ryder Cup rookie in Europe's dramatic team success last year, said: "I have never played Muirfield before, so I don't know what it is going to be like for me.

"I have been told a million times it is one of the fairest of The Open courses, so I am quite looking forward to seeing what it is like.

"I fancy my chances every time I tee off. Even last week if I had played a bit better I would have been a lot closer than I was.

"It is great to head to The Open with the game in decent shape."

Colsaerts finished four strokes behind winner Phil Mickelson in Inverness on Sunday after a final round 69.

It was a performance he was pleased with and he feels he can make the necessary improvements to shine near Edinburgh this week.

Colsaerts said of his closing round: "There were a couple of mistakes here and there but apart from that I thought I played really good.

"It has been a long time since I felt I had good momentum on the Sunday and gained ground, and maybe I could have done a little better than I did, but I am quite satisfied with the week I had in preparation for the Open - good links golf.

"It is definitely the best preparation you can get, hitting balls on such ground, even though it is probably going to be a bit firmer next week."

Colsaerts played his first practice round on Monday and, despite being unfamiliar with the course, is sure he has the game to excel.

But he knows consistency is the key after his hopes at Lytham 12 months ago - when he opened and closed with 65s - were effectively scuppered by a second round 77.

After being drawn alongside fellow big hitters Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson he said: "I will just try not to get myself into this up-and-down situation that I did last year.

"I used to play a lot over here. On the amateur circuit there is a lot of links golf, all the tournaments over here.

"I have been playing links golf since I was 14. I have got a game that suits links golf pretty well."

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