Monday, 25 April 2011
Belgian Nicolas Colsaerts is the 2011 Volvo China Open champion, winning the RMB3.3million (Approx. US$500,000) first prize with a four-shot victory ahead of a chasing quartet of Pablo Martin from Spain, New Zealander Danny Lee, Dane Søren Kjeldsen and Peter Lawrie from Ireland.
The 28-year-old from Brussels started the fourth and final round just one shot ahead, but was never in danger of losing his lead, indeed extending it to four courtesy of an outward 33, back in 33 for a fine six-under-par 66.
“I am so proud to have won the Volvo China Open and China will always hold a special place in my heart,” said the Belgian, adding, “I spoke to my family briefly and it’s a pity they could not be here with me, but I will go home and have a nice celebration.”
Consistency was the key to Colsaerts victory, rounds of 65, 67, 66 and 66 by far the most unfailing form of the week and a huge bonus for the Belgian is a place in the all-star line-up for the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain next month.
“I’m really looking forward to that,” he said, the man who will become the first-ever Belgian to play in the 45-year history of the event explaining, “I used to watch it on TV when I was a kid, and although I don’t have much match play experience, it is a fantastic event to get in to.”
And within minutes of being crowned Volvo China Open winner and resplendent in his gold champions jacket, he confirmed he would be back next year to defend his crown, saying, “Of course, I will be back in China to defend and I must learn some more Chinese before I return.”
Meanwhile, Martin, Lee, Kjeldsen and Lawrie each banked RMB1.33million (Approx. US$204,000), whilst veteran Zhang Lian Wei was the best placed Chinese player, the 45-year-old 2003 Volvo China Open champion rolling back the years to finish in a tie for 31st place.