MILAN (Reuters) - Nicolas Colsaerts became the 11th player to fire eight successive birdies on the European Tour as the Belgian surged to the top of the leaderboard after the Italian Open first round on Thursday.
The former Ryder Cup player started his round at the 10th hole and produced his spectacular run from the 14th to the third.
Colsaerts' flawless nine-under-par 63 gave him a two-stroke lead over Italian Francesco Molinari, Shiv Kapur of India and Swede Kristoffer Broberg.
However, his run of birdies will not go down in the record books because preferred lies were being used at the Golf Club Milano.
"The course is not long and the back nine is very scoreable so I would be surprised if I was the only player who gets hot out there," Colsaerts told reporters at the Golf Club Milano.
"I think the winning score will be pretty low but that's good. I think most people who come out here to watch golf want to see birdies and eagles."
Colsaerts has gone three years without a victory but feels his form is slowly returning.
"I have been playing quite well for a while and waiting for a round like this when it all comes together," he said.
"Today it was great and it is nice to see the work you are doing paying off for a change."
Writing by Tony Jimenez,; editing by Toby Davis