Belgium’s Nicolas Colsaerts raced to an early lead at the Open D’Italia Thursday thanks to his bogey-free 63 in the first round.
He stormed the course with eight straight birdies, starting with No. 14 on the back nine and rounding out at No. 3 on the front. That score has him two strokes ahead of Kristoffer Broberg, Shiv Kapur, and local favorite Francesco Molinari.
The timing couldn’t be better for Colsaerts, who has sunk to 100th in the Race to Dubai standings, and hasn’t won a tournament on the European Tour since 2012.
“I have been playing quite well for a while and waiting for a round like this when it all comes together,” he said. “Today it was great and it is nice to see the work you are doing paying off for a change.”
Colsaerts is just the 11th player in European Tour history to make eight birdies in a row.
“It all felt pretty easy to be fair,” he said. “We all know what it is like to catch fire and get on a run like that but I didn’t realize how many birdies in a row I had made until the sixth one, then I started to count them.”