Colsaerts Set to Join PGA Tour in 2013

Nicolas Colsaerts will become a full-fledged member of the PGA Tour in 2013. The long-hitter, the best golfer ever from Belgium, will shift his focus from the European Tour to concentrate on playing in the States next year.

Colsaerts, who turns 30 on November 14, made the announcement Monday on his Twitter account. "It's official now . . . PGA Tour member!!"

In nine American starts as a PGA Tour non-member he earned $677,011, slightly more than Kevin Chappell, who finished the season ranked 125th on the 2012 money list and also earned his card.

After winning the European Tour's World Match-Play Championship in May, edging Northern Ireland's Graeme McDowell 1-up, Colsaerts was selected as the wild-card pick by captain Jose Maria Olazabal for the 2012 European Ryder Cup team.

At Medinah Country Club near Chicago, Colsaerts went 1-3, but he played lights-out with eight birdies and an eagle in carrying partner Lee Westwood to a 1-up win over Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker in Friday's four-ball match. The Europeans retained the Cup by a score of 14 to 13.

Now ranked 34th in the world, Colsaerts joins other former European Tour players like No. 1-ranked Rory McIlroy, No. 3 Luke Donald and fourth-ranked Westwood as PGA Tour regulars.

Despite playing the majority of 2013 in the U.S., Colsaerts said he'll still venture over to the Continent for several tournaments. "I will still play a few in Europe . . . my heart will always be back home," he Tweeted.

Colsaerts led the 2012 European Tour in driving distance with an average of 318.6 yards, three yards more than the PGA Tour's longest hitter, Bubba Watson.