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'Belgium Bomber' Colsaerts in the U.S. Open mix

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ARDMORE, Pa. – This wasn’t supposed to be the right golf course for the “Belgium Bomber,” but thanks to softer conditions courtesy of Thursday’s rains and a ball control game Nicolas Colsaerts found himself squarely in the mix following Day 1 at the U.S. Open.

Colsaerts was at 1 under following a 69 at Merion – which was dubbed a ballstriker’s ballpark where precision not power ruled – and tied for fifth as the afternoon wave set out to finish as much of their first rounds as they could.

“If it’s soft the ball pretty much responds,” said Colsaerts, who only hit 9 of 14 fairways but needed just 28 putts.

The European Ryder Cup star bogeyed the first and fifth holes but rebounded with birdies at Nos. 7 and 8 to move within two strokes of the lead.