KAVARNA, Bulgaria (AFP) –
Nicolas Colsaerts had to send out an SOS to his mother on Monday after his clubs and luggage went astray as he made his way to Bulgaria to defend his World Match-Play title.
Colsaerts found himself caught up in a strike at Brussels Airport when he checked-in for his flight to Varna for the first ever major golf tournament staged in Bulgaria.
The Belgian was due to arrive in Bulgaria late Monday but he has had to arrange for his mother to travel from Paris on Tuesday with a spare set of clubs and clothing for her victorious European Ryder Cup son.
Colsaerts heads a field of 24 players from 15 different countries competing in the three million euros event being played on the stunning Thracian Cliffs course laid out along the Black Sea shoreline at Kavarna 60 kilometres north of Bulgaria’s third largest city Varna.
He later tweeted: “Does somebody know someone from Brussels Airport or SN Brussels Airlines to make possible that my people would have access to the luggage and take them back. Somebody would then travel from Paris or Amsterdam to bring them to me!
“How can you be unlucky defending a world Title”.
While Colsaerts awaited his clubs, sponsors Volvo arranged for a private jet to convey 11 PGA Tour based players, including the US Open winning duo of Australia’s Geoff Ogivly and Graeme McDowell, from Florida to Bulgaria.
The flight left Jacksonville Airport soon after the close of the Players Championship won by Tiger Woods and arrived eight hours later for a refuelling stop at Stansted Airport near London before a further three hour flight to Varna Airport.
Waiting in Varna for the 11 players were two helicopters that took them on a flyover of the Gary Player designed course labelled ‘The Pebble Beach of Europe”.
McDowell quickly tweeted a description of the course as “spectacular”.
However the privilege of being the first to play the course belonged to Welshman Jamie Donaldson, the reigning Irish Open and Abu Dhabi HSBC champion.
“The course is just breath-taking and the TV pictures this week are going to be amazing,” said Donaldson.Published 14 May 2013, 00:18 IST