Skip to main content

Colsaerts shows strength to stun rivals

January 10, 2013 -- Updated 1944 GMT (0344 HKT)
Nicolas Colsaerts showed his power by producing an astonishing drive on the third hole in Durban.
Nicolas Colsaerts showed his power by producing an astonishing drive on the third hole in Durban.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Nicolas Colsaerts unleashed incredible driver of 419-yards on first day in Durban
  • Ernie Els stunned by power of Belgian after playing alongside younger rival
  • Thailand's Thongchai Jaidee leads the field by three shots following a round of seven-under 65.
  • Els and fellow South African Louis Oosthuizen are joint-second after opening round

(CNN) -- Nicolas Colsaerts produced a monstrous 419-yard drive to stun his opponents at the Durban Country Club Thursday.

The Belgian, who was part of the victorious European Ryder Cup team which won at Medina, was the biggest driver on the European and PGA Tours last season.

But even local favorite Ernie Els was shocked by the sheer power and distance Colsaerts managed to get on his ball at the third hole.

"I've been coming here since 1986 I think and I've never seen a ball there, nobody has," Els told reporters.

"They should put a plaque down. I was coming from a different zip code. And I've got to compete against these animals!"

Branden Grace on remarkable wins
Expert: How to improve your putting
The rise of South Africa's black golfers

While Colsaerts stole the show with his huge driving, it was Els who enjoyed the better round of the two.

Johnson holds off Stricker

The South African finished the day in second position, on four-under alongside compatriot Louis Oosthuizen following a round of 68.

"We probably got the bad side of the draw, but that's part of golf," said Oosthuizen,

"I enjoy the course. You have to think a lot - I hit the driver on only two holes - and put a three-iron in my bag only 15 minutes before we teed off."

Former paratrooper Thongchai Jaidee leads the field by three shots following a round of seven-under 65.

Thongchai recorded eight birdies during his opening round to seal his place at the top of the leaderboard.

"I enjoyed the course which requires you to think a lot," said the 43-year-old Thai.

"I used a driver only twice and found a three iron I put in my bag just before teeing off very useful."

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
April 18, 2014 -- Updated 1754 GMT (0154 HKT)
When someone tells you to go jump in a lake, sometimes it's best to take their advice. "I've never been so scared," says golfer Pablo Larrazabal.
Bubba Watson is the Masters king, but can he win a major away from Augusta? Living Golf's Shane O'Donoghue has the lowdown.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1412 GMT (2212 HKT)
Arnold Palmer
Arnold Palmer won his first major at Augusta, played there with the U.S. President and made a record 50 consecutive Masters appearances.
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1202 GMT (2002 HKT)
He is remembered for designing one of the world's most famous golf courses, but the man behind Augusta died pleading to be paid.
April 9, 2014 -- Updated 1426 GMT (2226 HKT)
Will Phil Mickelson win a fourth green jacket? Can Europe end its long Masters wait? Or will Adam Scott emulate the absent Tiger Woods?
April 10, 2014 -- Updated 1004 GMT (1804 HKT)
Take a trip around Augusta. From Eisenhower's toppled tree to the fiendishly-difficult Amen Corner, the Masters' home venue has it all.
April 8, 2014 -- Updated 1204 GMT (2004 HKT)
He's been mistaken for Tiger Woods' ball-boy, but that won't be the case when amateur star Matt Fitzpatrick tees off at the Masters.
April 4, 2014 -- Updated 1228 GMT (2028 HKT)
2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson shows us how to hit the long ball.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1827 GMT (0227 HKT)
CNN's Shane O'Donoghue meets Billy Payne -- the chairman of Augusta National Golf Club.
April 3, 2014 -- Updated 1739 GMT (0139 HKT)
Shane O'Donoghue meets Ben Crenshaw who won his first of two Masters thirty years ago this month.
March 27, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
They carry a bag for a living but these men can bring home six-figure incomes. Welcome to the world of a caddy.
CNN's Alex Thomas welcomes golf opening itself up to women, but questions the motives behind the decision.
ADVERTISEMENT