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Nicolas Colsaerts revels in long reign as Open de France champ

Nicolas Colsaerts revels in long reign as Open de France champ

Nicolas Colsaerts has enjoyed holding the Cazoo Open de France title for the last three years but is relishing the challenge of taking on Le Golf National again as the historic event returns.

Nicolas Colsaerts

The Belgian arrived on the outskirts of Paris in October 2019 battling to keep his playing privileges but left with a third DP World Tour title after a dramatic final day at the 2018 Ryder Cup venue.

The Covid-19 pandemic meant that continental Europe's oldest national open was not played in 2020 or 2021 and Colsaerts is glad to be back, although he admits he has taken pleasure in his long reign.

"I don't think anyone (else) has!" he said of waiting 35 months to defend his title.

"It always makes me smile being Belgian and being the reigning champion of the French Open for three seasons. In the first place it was just an unbelievable achievement and it's quite nice to be remembered for being the French Open champion for three seasons.

"I had not been playing particularly well in 2019 so I came here having to play well to keep my card. It's very difficult to rank your wins, they don't really have a big difference between them, but having cut myself out of a very tricky situation by winning here in front of the French crowd that I know extremely well - being part of the French golfing landscape for the last 20 years - made it pretty special.

"I'm looking forward to just walking around here and seeing faces that I've known for 20 years and you add on top that it's been three years since we've played here.

"Belgium is not too far, there's always a decent amount of Belgian fans that drive down and spend the week here with us. I'm also looking forward to eating 12 snails every night like I did last time when I won."

One of the Belgians who has driven down this week is Thomas Pieters as he looks to continue a highly impressive 2022 so far.

The 2018 Ryder Cup star won his first Rolex Series title at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and is eager to add another illustrious trophy to his collection.

“It would be a lovely trophy to have, and to keep that trophy in Belgium would be pretty special too," he said. "There are not that many Belgians on Tour so if a I could defend a Belgian title I would take that!

“I love this golf course, it’s always highlighted on my schedule. I can drive here, there is a feel good factor, I love the finish here, so I’m happy to be back.

“It takes a lot of commitment to play this golf course, a lot of patience, a lot of good golf shots coming down the stretch. I’m looking forward to seeing my daughter this weekend and if the weather stays up it’s always a good week here."

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