HILVERSUM, Netherlands – The long-hitting Nicolas Colsearts of Belgium upstaged a trio of European Ryder Cup players Thursday to take the first-round lead at the Dutch Open with an 8-under 62.
The 29-year-old Colsearts has never won on the European Tour but leads the 2010 long driving standings with an average length of 308 yards. He used that power to great effect over the relatively short 6,906-yard Hilversumche course to make eight birdies, including five over the last six holes.
Kenneth Ferrie of England was two shots back in equal second after sinking a five-foot eagle putt on the 18th. He was joined by Shiv Kapur of India. While Ryder Cup player Ross Fisher was among seven players tied for third after shooting 65.
Colsearts and most of the players in the top 10 were among the early starters, who benefited from the greens rolling smoothly after heavy overnight rain.
Martin Kaymer had it tougher in the afternoon and settled for a 67 in his first round since winning the PGA Championship last month. His Ryder Cup teammate Francesco Molinari also started late and shot a 68.
“I played OK, but the greens were not very nice in the afternoon,” Kaymer said. “You didn’t want to hit the ball too far and end up with a 3- or 4-footer putt back. You wanted to get your par and get out of there.”
Todd Hamilton, the American who won the British Open at Troon in 2004, managed to sink two eagle putts on his way to a 66.