Milan – Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts praised his mother's help as he was joined at the top of the leaderboard for a three-way tie of the Italian Open Thursday with a seven-under-par 65.
Colsaerts picked up just one birdie in a solid front nine at the Golf Club Torino and despite a bogey at the par-four 10th the 32-year-old went on to reel off six consecutive birdies.
The big Belgian was par at the 17th and finished with another birdie at the 18th to take the clubhouse lead with Argentina's Ricardo Gonzalez and Germany's Maximilian Kieffer.
Having pulled out of the Dutch Open last week with flu, Colsaerts revealed his speedy recovery was partly down to the tender, loving care of his mother.
“Nothing beats a couple of days at home with your mum looking after you,” he said. “I was sitting on a sofa watching the golf and I was quite happy.”
Gonzalez has missed three cuts in a row since finishing runner-up at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles but stayed well in contention with six birdies, one bogey and an eagle at the 12th.
“I tried to relax the last two or three weeks but I played with a little tension. On Tuesday's practice I said 'come on, relax' and it worked,” he said.
“I'm feeling very good and we'll see what happens over the next three days.”
Kieffer, who is making a good impression on his European Tour debut, boosted his chances of qualifying for the Dubai World Championship with a good finish this week.
The 23-year-old currently sits 77th and could make the top 60
with a solid finish this week.
Australian Marcus Fraser was a shot behind after a 66, with England's Steve Webster on five under and local favourite Francesco Molinari carding a 68. – Sapa-AFP