NICOLAS Colsaerts outshone the Ryder Cup players competing in the ISPS Handa Wales Open, but admitted to pangs of jealousy at missing out on a second appearance in the event at Gleneagles.

Colsaerts carded a five-under-par 66 to set the clubhouse target at Celtic Manor, with Jamie Donaldson returning a 70 and Lee Westwood showing signs of rustiness in a 73.

Stephen Gallacher and Thomas Bjorn were among the later starters and all four had dinner with European captain Paul McGinley on Wednesday night, a dinner Colsaerts could not help but notice.

"I saw them having dinner and thought 'I wish I was in that room,'" said Colsaerts, who carded eight birdies and an eagle in a fourball win alongside Westwood at Medinah two years ago.

"It's their adventure and I am not part of it, but once you play in one Ryder Cup, you don't want to miss another one."

Colsaerts was one over par after seven holes of his round but then made an eagle on the 18th after smashing a drive almost 450 yards and hitting a pitching wedge to the green on the 613-yard par five.

"I thought it was too far right but it's all downhill and downwind and it must have luged down the fairway," Colsaerts added. "If all the stars align you can hit it a long way."

The 31-year-old Belgian then birdied the first, second, fifth and seventh to hold a two-shot lead over playing partner Tommy Fleetwood - who won the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles last year - Ireland's Shane Lowry and Portugal's Ricardo Santos.

In anticipation of some of his team playing this week, McGinley asked for Celtic Manor to be set up in a similar fashion to Gleneagles and Fleetwood said: "The par fives are a little bit easier around Gleneagles I think, but apart from that, yeah, it's similar.

"I like the course and I enjoy playing it. It suits me and if there's a few more similarities to Gleneagles I'll be happy."