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Big-hitting Belgians target Mauritius success
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Big-hitting Belgians target Mauritius success

Nicolas Colsaerts hopes his recent win in France can provide the ignition for a successful 2020 season.

Nicolas Colsaerts

The big-hitting Belgian captured the Amundi Open de France at Le Golf National in October at a time when securing a card for the 2020 Race to Dubai had been in doubt, but with a two year exemption now hopes to play with more freedom as he prepares to open his campaign at the AfrAsia Bank Mauritius Open.

Colsaerts is attached to Anahita in Mauritius and has plenty of experience of the island nation in the Indian Ocean.

“The list of qualities that this place has is endless - the hospitality, the scenery, the food, the weather and now golf tournaments as well,” Colsaerts said.

“Players talk with each other about how nice it is to spend a week in Mauritius, not just the tournament, but to enjoy bringing the family and spending some time on the beach. It's a very relaxed week. We play a lot of competitive stuff throughout the year, so to have a week that combines both is very good. It would be a very nice thing for me to play well and add this title to my list.

“I came from not knowing if I had to go to Q School to now having two years exempt. Being able to play these events with a different mindset is something that I look forward to. 

“You always have pretty much the same goals; you want to add as many lines as possible to your CV. We're into a Ryder Cup year, and then again, I want to keep playing big events. 

“I haven't played in the Majors for a couple of years now, so it would be good to have a chance again. The mindset will be totally different. I really look forward to 2020 and being able to tee it up a bit more freely and try to make the most out of these weeks.”

As well as a new mindset, Colsaerts also has a new caddie this week, with his wife Rachel on bag duties.

“My wife is going to carry the bag for the first time,” he said. “I think there could be a few funny things happening this week, but both of us are looking forward to something new in our husband and wife relationship.”

Thomas Pieters

Another Belgian looking to combine some winter relaxation with a successful week on the course is Ryder Cup star Thomas Pieters.

Like his compatriot, Pieters has tasted victory in recent months at the D+D Real Czech Masters, and the World Number 80 is keen to continue that sort of form.

“It's a bit of vacation mode just now, but come Thursday you want to do well,” he said. “I've been here since Wednesday; I'm absolutely loving it here.

“I've never played before the new year in the season before, it feels like a bit of a head start. We'll go for it and hopefully get a good result.”