Luke Donald: “Colsaerts, a fantastic person”

“Nicolas Colsaerts has been in my thoughts for some time. Together, we played the Ryder Cup 2012 and on that occasion I understood what this appointment meant for him. When I asked him to join Team Europe he had goosebumps.

happy to have him on my staff, he is a fantastic person who gets along well with all the players of the DP World Tour. For the team, it will be an added value”

Luke Donald, statements

So Luke Donald welcomes Nicolas Colsaerts, chosen by the Englishman as the third vice-captain of the Europe team at the Ryder Cup 2023 in Rome.

Although his father was Scottish, Luke Donald was born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire (therefore he calls himself half Scottish). He began to play with his brother, who soon became his caddy. He immediately started winning his first tournaments as early as the age of 15.

He attended the Royal Grammar School (High Wycombe) in his youth. He soon migrated to America to study at the College Prospects of America, under the orders of golfer Martin Laird. He quickly made a name for himself, so much so that major American colleges wanted him as a team in exchange for a scholarship.

He was also accepted at Stanford, but was unable to enter due to problems not related to golf. He then “fell back” to Northwestern University in the year 1997, where he studied art, and where he even entered a fraternity.

Under the orders of coach Pat Goss he won the NCAA Division I singles title in 1999, breaking Tiger Woods’ record. On May 29, 2011, after Virginia Waters’ victory at the BMW Pga Championship (at the last blow against fellow countryman Lee Westwood, who was also in the running for the world record as well as for the Tournament), he became Number 1 in the World Ranking for the first time in career.

Colsaerts became a professional in 2000, at just 18, and joined the European Tour. The turning point was 2009: he lost the Irish Open in the playoffs and, in the same year, won his first two tournaments (both in the Netherlands).

. In 2010 he came third at the Italian Open. In 2011 he won his first European Tour tournament: the Volvo China Open. In the same year, he loses in the semifinals of the Volvo World Match Play Championship to Ian Poulter. The following year, however, he managed to make up for it, winning the tournament in the final against Graeme McDowell. He participated for the first time in the US Open in 2012, overcoming the cut and qualifying for 27th place.

On 27 August 2012 he was called up by captain José María Olazábal as a wildcard for his first Ryder Cup in Medinah. During his debut match on September 28 paired with Lee Westwood he closed his round with 8 birdies and 1 eagle (-10 of the day) by winning against Tiger Woods and Steve Striker.

This result, defined by many as “the best result ever achieved by a rookie on his debut day at the Ryder Cup” allowed Europe to win the only point of the afternoon session.

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