Belgian professional golfer Nicolas Colsaerts saw off competition from former US Open
champion Graeme McDowell to take the crown at the Volvo Match Play Championship in Andalucia yesterday (May 20th).
The talented player fought through blustery conditions at Finca Cortesin to continue his fine form at events sponsored by the Swedish vehicle manufacturer following a triumph at the Volvo China Open last year.
He also finished in third place at the 2011 Volvo World Match Play, fourth at the Volvo Golf
Champions and second at the 2012 Volvo China Open.
Colsaerts was tested throughout this weekend's event by Northern Irishman McDowell, who levelled the competition three times on the front nine, while also managing to half a two-stroke deficit twice following the turn.
The win has seen the 29-year-old, who is widely regarded for his powerful drive, move into the top 50 in the official world golf rankings and closer to a position in this year's Ryder Cup
"I played well in tough conditions. Wind like this, you know it's going to be very difficult," commented the Belgian. "Graeme McDowell, he's won the US Open, so he's used to playing in tough conditions. I knew that it was going to be a tough game in conditions like these."
Meanwhile, there is everything to play for in the battle for the number one spot on the official world rankings as Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald
prepare to head into action at this weekend's BMW PGA Championship.
Current number two Donald is the only player who can overthrow his Northern Irish rival for the number one spot, but he will need to repeat his 2011 victory at the event to return to pole position.
If he does not manage to take the crown at the European Tour's flagship event - as he did in a play-off round against Lee Westwood
12 months ago - the outcome will depend on McIlroy's performance.
Englishman Donald must finish in eighth place on his own or better to be in with a chance of reclaiming the title of best player in the world.
A number of international professionals are also hoping for a good performance at the Wentworth Club this week to ensure their place for this year's second major competition - the US Open - which gets underway in three weeks.
Today was the cut-off date for players to qualify for the event through the top 60 in the official world golf rankings, with Spaniard Miguel Angel Jimenez
in 60th place representing the last tour member to make it through.