In its third year, the Sandbelt Invitational will add some international flavour in 2023, with former Ryder Cup winner and multiple time DP World Tour Nicolas Colsaerts among the foreign raiders trying to claim the title.
Now splitting his time between the commentary booth and competitive golf, the Dubai based Belgian has been a regular visitor to Australian shores through his Aussiewife, this year marking his Sandbelt Invitational debut.
Played across Victoria Golf Club, Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club, Yarra Yarra Golf Club and The Royal Melbourne Golf Club beginning December 11, the Geoff Ogilvy hosted tournament provides a competitive and learning environment across
some of the golf world’s best courses. “Really excited, I mean the Sandbelt is always in my top three regions in the world,”
Colsaerts said. “They have such features that you don’t find anywhere else. It’s such an old school way of playing, I’m kind of jealous I didn’t grow up in that part of the world because it’s such a great asset to grow up as a golfer to be able to play firm,
wind, hot, cold.”
Beyond the chance to play golf on some of the great layouts at a tournament his long-time friends Ogilvy and Tournament Director Mike Clayton created, Colsaerts is relishing being in Australia and playing competitive golf for a month that started at
the Australian PGA. Est.1898 125 Nicolas Colsaerts “I mean I’ve heard that it’s a pretty great gig,” he said when asked what he had heard of the unique tournament comprising male and female amateurs and pros.
“To be selfish I get to play four pretty bad ass golf courses, and your country just reeks of sports and understanding and respect of people who do this for a living. My wife is from here, so everything gets mixed in, it’s pretty cool to be able to do what I
love in your country.” Beyond trying to win their respective category at the Sandbelt Invitational, where an overall winner, men’s professional, women’s professional, men’s amateur and women’s amateur champion are crowned, players get the chance to mix with those they rarely tee it up alongside. The younger members of the field allowed highly valuable learning opportunities through playing with the likes of Colsaerts, Ogilvy and defending champion Cameron Davis.
“With age and when I look at my story, I was always respectful of the older guys that have done this for decades before me,” Colsaerts said of the tournament concept. “You can clearly see when you play with kids, the ones who are eager to listen a few
advices that you are happy to give. I’m always happy to give advice, because I also understand that most of my career is behind me.”
Joining Colsaerts as part of the overseas challenge will be new pro and former Australian Amateur winner Kazuma Kobori of New Zealand. The Kiwi hoping to go one better than sister Momoka who went head-to-head with Davis down the stretch
in 2022 at the Sandbelt Invitational, with Irishman John Murphy further bolstering international stocks this year.
Free tickets for the 2023 Sandbelt Invitational are available now via www.sandbeltinvitational.com with the tournament made possible again this year through the support of Visit Victoria