GLENEAGLES, Scotland — Nicolas Colsaerts shot a 3-under 69 on Thursday in the Johnnie Walker Championship, leaving the Ryder Cup hopeful two shots behind the first-round leaders in the final event in the points races for the 10 automatic spots on the European team.
The big-hitting Belgian made five birdies — including four in five holes on Nos. 14-18 — to share eighth place. He must finish first or second to be assured of an automatic position in the matches next month against the United States at Medinah in Illinois.
“(It’s) a pretty good start and that’s exactly what I wanted,” Colsaerts said. “As for the Ryder Cup, I can only manage what I do. But we’ve only played one round and anybody can still make a great story happen.”
Australia’s Brett Rumford and Norwegian playing partner Knut Borsheim each shot 67 on Gleneagles Hotel’s PGA Centenary Course, the Jack Nicklaus-designed layout that will host the 2014 Ryder Cup.