Nicolas Colsaerts: “Happy to be here to defend my title”

Defending champion after his victory at the 2019 French Open, the Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts returns to Le Golf National with a new state of mind imposed by his illness contracted a year ago.

Golf Planète: What does it mean to you to defend your title at the Cazoo Open de France?
Nicolas Colsaerts: It’s special and particularly pleasant for me to be Belgian, French-speaking and to have been the title holder of the French Open for three years. I’m happy to have won and I’m happy to be here to defend my title. For nearly fifteen years in the early 2000s there was no Belgian Open. So I considered the French Open a bit like my national Open because of the language and the ties I have in this country. It started at the 2003 Lancôme Trophy and winning the French Open in 2019 was really the icing on the cake.

GP: It was a particularly hard-fought victory in 2019. What kind of memories do you have of it?
NC: I remember that in 2019 it was a bit chaotic at the end, but it’s the course that wants that. I was up to five strokes ahead and then I found myself two strokes off the lead. I was in a fight with the South African George Coetzee and the Danish J.B. Hansen… It must have been fun to watch for viewers and viewers. And I’m glad I came out on top.

GP: This Albatros course is indeed very tricky towards the end. Did you remember found the key in 2019?
NC: I think the key was to follow the 2018 Ryder Cup. It allowed me to see the Albatros course in the fall and not in June. The way to approach it is different. It is always difficult, but we can be more aggressive. Especially seeing the players in match play in September where the strategies are really different compared to the month of June in stroke play. I really think it helped me for the French Open the following season to win in the fall of 2019.

I will be able to eat my dozen snails every night

Nicolas Colsaerts

GP: Returning to this course brings back what kind of nice memories?
NC: It’s a Ryder Cup course and it’s always fun to play here. I’m always happy to play at the Golf National, to eat in good restaurants and I’ll be able to eat my dozen snails every night as I did in 2019.

GP: You have gone through a complicated period. Where are you with your health?
NC: I went through difficult times. I was found to have an illness in the month of November (an extramembranous glomerulonephritis that affects the reins, editor’s note). It makes you think and golf takes a back seat. And then I recommended on the circuit a little over two months ago now at the Soudal Open. I’m having a little trouble getting back to where I was a few years ago. But from a health point of view, everything is going well and we are moving forward.

GP: How is your game at the moment?
NC: I’m still getting some really good shots, but there’s a lot of expensive waste. And it does not forgive. If I make a top 30, I will be happy. I will in any case try to enjoy every moment and every minute.

GP: What do you think of the players who left on the dissident circuit of LIV?
NC: I completely understand the people who play on the LIV. But I think that at some point you have to choose your circuit. I think I could have chosen the LIV. But I would have done things properly. In sir.

(Photo Warren Little/Getty Images/AFP)

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