Colsaerts takes charge at Le Golf National

By Sports Desk October 19, 2019

Nicolas Colsaerts will take a three-shot lead into the final round of the Open de France after giving himself a golden opportunity to end his title drought on Saturday.

Colsaerts has not won a European Tour tournament since 2012, but a four-under 67 in his third round put the Belgian 13 under with a nice cushion at Le Golf National.

The 36-year-old can retain his playing privileges with a victory on Sunday and he enhanced his chances of achieving that on moving day.

Colsaerts hit the turn in 34 after making back-to-back birdies at the fifth and sixth holes, then made another three gains on the back nine with just one bogey at 17.

George Coetzee shared the lead with Colsaerts after the second round in Paris, but the South African will start the last round with ground to make up after signing for a one-under 70.

Coetzee dropped a shot at the second but gained momentum after the turn with three birdies in a row, only for a double bogey at the 13th to halt his charge.

Jamie Donaldson rose into a share of third place with a brilliant five-under 66, a bogey at 13 the only blemish on the Welshman's card.

Kurt Kitayama is alongside Donaldson on nine under, while Richie Ramsay, Gavin Moynihan and Joachim B Hansen are a further stroke back.

Hansen showed great character to recover from a quintuple bogey at 13, birdying the next four holes to move into a share of fifth spot. 

Related items

  • Woods lauds USA's strength in depth ahead of Presidents Cup bid Woods lauds USA's strength in depth ahead of Presidents Cup bid

    Tiger Woods is confident his United States team have the strength in depth to claim victory in the Presidents Cup, despite a lengthy journey to Australia "in a luxurious tin can".

    The USA will seek to win an eighth consecutive edition of the competition against their International opponents in Melbourne, with captain Woods headlining a star-studded visiting line-up.

    Even with four-time major winner Brooks Koepka forced out through injury, the USA are heavy favourites to prevail and Woods has faith in his team to deliver the goods this week.

    "I think our strength is that we are a very deep team," he said at the captains' media conference on Tuesday. 

    "The guys have played well this entire year, and you know, we had 11 out of 12 guys play last week, so it was nice for them to shake off some rust, get a feel for things.

    "Today is an important day for us to just walk and to stretch our legs a bit. Getting in yesterday after a 26-hour ride in a luxurious tin can, it's nice to actually get out there and feel some fresh air."

    One man sure to attract attention from the crowd is Patrick Reed, who has been embroiled in controversy since being hit with a two-stroke penalty at the Hero World Challenge at the weekend.

    The American was penalised for improving his lie in a bunker, hitting the sand twice during his practice swings in a move he insists was unintentional.

    It is expected that Reed, already a divisive figure, will come in for some rough treatment, but Woods had some kind words for the local fans.

    "Well, I'm sure somebody's going to say something out there," he admitted.

    "But I think that in general, all the times I have been to Australia and have played here, the fans have been fantastic.

    "They are the most knowledgeable, the most excitable fans. They love their sport. They are going to come out and it's going to be bipartisan, as it should be.

    "They are going to root for the Internationals more so than they are us. There's nothing wrong with that."

    Opposing captain Ernie Els struck a defiant tone despite history weighing heavily against the International side, who have not won the tournament since 1998. 

    "I've got a great young team [and] I've got some experienced players," said the South African.

    "Guys are naturally just standing up; guys who are quite comfortable to speak – and I like that. I like the spirit we have this week."

  • Woods is the GOAT, not Nicklaus – McIlroy Woods is the GOAT, not Nicklaus – McIlroy

    Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer of all time despite having won fewer majors than Jack Nicklaus.

    That is the firm view of Rory McIlroy, who declared a clear winner in the longest-running debate in the sport.

    Nicklaus won 18 majors between 1962 and 1986, with Woods' 2019 Masters success moving him to 15 after an 11-year wait.

    However, McIlroy cited Woods' 82 PGA Tour wins – nine more than his compatriot – as proof of the 43-year-old's greater consistency.

    "In the history of our game no one has played better golf than Tiger Woods," McIlroy told the Golf Channel's Morning Drive show.

    "When you look – 2000, 2001, that whole stretch – no one has played the calibre of golf that he played then.

    "That's why I think he is the best player to ever live, because no one reached the levels that he did. In my estimation, he is the best to ever do it.

    "I think it's the relentlessness. Back in those years I was talking about – nine wins, and then the next year it would be 10 wins, then the next year it would be eight wins. It was just year after year of relentless excellence.

    "I think his 82 PGA Tour events that he's won is nearly more impressive than the 15 majors. The motivation to get up every morning and say, 'Yep, I'm going to keep on this journey, keep dominating people' – and he's still doing it.”

    Woods needs one more PGA Tour victory to claim the outright record tally, with Sam Snead having won the same number. 

  • McIlroy: People like to kick Reed when he's down McIlroy: People like to kick Reed when he's down

    Rory McIlroy has sympathy for the under-fire Patrick Reed and claimed people like to "kick him when he's down" after the American was penalised for improving his lie at the Hero World Challenge. 

    Reed, who was hit with a two-stroke penalty, insists it was not his intention to break the rules when he brushed the sand twice during practice swings from the bunker.

    Golf's rules state that players cannot improve their ability to play a shot by "removing or pressing down sand or loose soil".

    While McIlroy conceded the punishment was necessary, he felt the 2018 Masters champion had been given a particularly rough time.

    "I don't think it would be a big deal if it wasn't Patrick Reed," the four-time major winner told the Golf Channel's Morning Drive show. 

    "It's almost like, a lot of people within the game, it’s almost like a hobby to sort of kick him when he's down."

    Reed pleaded his case by saying he could not feel his club hit the sand and even went as far as to suggest the camera angle had made the incident look worse than it was.

    McIlroy added: "I think the live shot isn't as incriminating as the slow-mo. It's hard, because you try to give the player the benefit of the doubt, right? He's in there, he's trying to figure out what way to play the shot.

    "It's almost like it's obliviousness to it rather than anything intentful, in terms of trying to get away with anything.

    "It doesn't make it right what he did."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.