Nico Colsaerts returns to the DP World Tour
Nico Colsaerts is seeking a strong week on home soil Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai resident Nicolas Colsaerts believes he can still compete on the DP World Tour despite struggling with his game in recent months.

The Belgian, who lost his full playing privileges on Tour last season, is playing on home soil at this week’s Soudal Open, the first event of the Tour’s ‘European Swing’, in what is his first outing since the Volvo China Open at the beginning of the month.

The 41-year-old missed the cut for the fourth consecutive event in China which left him frustrated, having previously openly admitting he has struggled to reassess his goals after being diagnosed with a rare kidney condition in late 2021.

“This season has been interesting to say the least, on a personal level, to find out where I am” said Colsaerts, who played in the Abu Dhabi Challenge in April.

“I'm pretty frustrated because I still feel like I can play this game at this level.

“I don't put it together, so then frustration gets into the mix and I'm banging my head against the wall the week after again. But I love this game, I love this Tour.”

“I love being out of here and I think that's why I have made friends along the way for the last 25 years.”

Colsaerts struggles have been evident in his home Open in recent years, missing the cut at Rinkven International in his last two outings at the Soudal Open.

Despite his poor record on home soil, the three-time DP World Tour winner is looking forward to a different challenge this week, with at Rinkven International offering a unique challenge not seen much on Tour in this day and age.

Instead of lengthy par fours and wide fairways, the par-71 6,940-yard course, combining a woodland and parkland setting, features six par fours under 400 yards in length, leading to players having to weigh up the pros and cons of being aggressive off the tee.

“I think I think most of the guys that have played this tournament a couple of times really look forward to playing here because it’s an old school golf course,” he said.

“We don't really get to play layouts like this anymore in the modern game.

“We all grew up playing this type of golf course when we were young and playing amateur stuff. The UK is similar, when you go around Wentworth area it's pretty similar, but we don't get to play golf courses like this anymore because of the issues with distance, facilities of whatever the DP World Tour now requires to accommodate spectators, hospitality villages and stuff like that.

“We don't get to go to these places that much, but here we're still able to do it. It’s narrow, you play irons off the tee, and you have swirling wind into the trees, which makes it an interesting challenge.”

With Colsaerts playing on home soil for the first time this year, he’ll no doubt be hoping to feed off the support in a bid to climb up the Race to Dubai Rankings as he seeks to regain full playing privileges for 2025.

Another bonus of returning to his homeland? Getting to see friends that he hasn’t seen in a while, even if they are in his putting line.

“The funniest thing when you play at home is sometimes you line up a putt and then you see somebody in your line that you haven't seen for 20 years,” he said.

“We've always had decent support here. (Thomas) Pieters, (Thomas) Detry or now the new kids, Matthis (Besard) or Adrien (Dumont De Chassart), I think there's going to be loads of people from our former clubs coming to watch.”