SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- Just 18 months ago, Nicolas Colsaerts had little reason to believe he could be going so many places. He was No. 179 in the world and had yet to win on a major tour.
Now, the big hitter from Belgium has a chance to have the best of two worlds. Colsaerts received a sponsor exemption this week to the Frys.com Open, and what might be last chance to secure a PGA Tour card for 2013.
He has $652,886 and needs to finish the equivalent of No. 125 on the tour money list to earn a full card. That's the equivalent of No. 120 with three events remaining.
"When you get a chance to play this tour with all these players, the course you play on such a big stage, it would be stupid not to consider it," Colsaerts said. "I've always played in Europe for a lot of years. It's an unbelievable tour to play on and get your grades up. But once you get a taste of what the possibilities here are, they get you pretty excited."
Colsaerts broke through last year by winning the Volvo China Open, and he picked up another win this spring at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain. Throw in a tie for seventh at the British Open, where he opened and finished with a 65, and it carried him onto the Ryder Cup team where he had a 63 on his own ball -- eight birdies, one eagle and one bogey -- to single-handedly beat Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.
It's already been quite a year, and the Belgian Bomber is looking for more.
"I've been to the U.S. quite a lot," he said. "But when you realize how many unbelievable golf courses you have around the country, it's quite unbelievable for somebody like me coming from such a small country to have a chance to play golf around an unbelievable country like you have and play these fantastic courses."
OK, so he likes it America. But apparently his affinity goes beyond the golf.
"I have to say, I have a little thing for Five Guys burgers," Colsaerts said.