Holder of the title after his victory at the 2019 French Open, the Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts returns to Le Golf National with a new state of mind imposed by his illness contracted a year ago.
Nicolas Colsaerts, statements
"It is special and particularly pleasant for me to be Belgian, French-speaking and to have been the title holder of the French Open for three years.
I'm happy to have won and I'm happy to be here to defend my title. For nearly fifteen years in the early 2000s, we no longer had a Belgian Open. So I considered the French Open a bit like my national Open because of the language and the ties I have in this country.
It started at the 2003 Lancôme Trophy and winning the French Open in 2019 was really the icing on the cake" "I remember that in 2019 it was a bit chaotic at the end, but it's the course that wants that.
I was up to five strokes ahead and then I found myself two strokes off the lead. I was in a fight with the South African George Coetzee and the Dane JB Hansen… It must have been fun to follow for the spectators and the television viewers.
And I'm glad I came out on top" "I think the key was following the 2018 Ryder Cup. It allowed me to see the Albatros course in the fall and not in June. The approach to it is different. It is always difficult, but we can be more aggressive.
Especially seeing the players in match play in September where the strategies are really different compared to the month of June in stroke play. I really think it helped me for the French Open the following season to win in the fall of 2019.
It's a Ryder Cup course and it's always fun to play here. I am always happy to play at Golf National, to eat in good restaurants and I will be able to eat my dozen snails every evening as I did in 2019. "I went through some tough times.
I was found to have an illness in November (an extramembranous glomerulonephritis which affects the kidneys, editor's note). It makes you think and golf takes a back seat. And then I started on the circuit again a little over two months ago at the Soudal Open.
I'm having a little trouble getting back to where I was a few years ago. But from a health point of view, everything is going well and we are moving forward. I'm still getting some really good shots, but there's a lot of waste that is expensive.
And it does not forgive. If I make a top 30, I will be happy. I will in any case try to enjoy every moment and every minute"