Lowry To Lead The Way In Turkey
Turkish Airlines Open
Inaugurated in 2013, for the last two years, the Turkish Airlines Open has been the penultimate event of the European Tour Final Series that culminates in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, but this year the event will open the Series.
The field will be smaller than for regular Tour events and will include all of the top European stars, along with a handful of tournament invitations.
At under 6500 yards, the Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Antalya is on the short side, by European Tour standards and despite the large bunkers and undulating fairways, the course doesn’t appear to offer too much of a challenge. Based on the last year’s tournaments, we can expect some pretty low scoring over the four days and given the competitive nature of the event, its best to stick with the better players.
In The Bunker
Predictably, Rory McIlroy dominates the antepost betting this week but I think he’s too short a price. He’s been inconsistent since his summer injury, and after ending the Fed Ex Cup play-offs with a disappointing final round of 74 at the Tour Championship, he started the new PGA season by finishing outside the top twenty-five at the Frys.Com Open.
He hasn’t played this evening before and in his current form at 9/2 I think there is better value to be found elsewhere in the field.
Shane Lowry showed signs of getting to grips with the course in Antalya when breaking into the top twenty-five last year and few players go into this week in better shape.
He returned from a six week break after the PGA Championship to make the top twenty at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and followed that up with a second at the British Masters. Back him to continue in that vein at 16/1.
Another player who’s been finding late season form is Bernd Wiesberger. He was impressive at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship earlier this month, finishing fourth after a slow start and made the top twenty at the Portugal Masters, a performance that included a sparkling second round 64. He finished seventh in Turkey twelve months ago and at 20/1 looks a solid bet this week.
The final name to add to your shortlist is young Englishman Matthew Fitzpatrick. In his first season on the European Tour, he took a while to adjust but has been playing some impressive golf in recent weeks.
Starting with a third at the Czech Masters, he has put together a run of four top-three finishes from six outings, including his debut Tour win at the British Masters and a solid third in Hong Kong last time. He has enormous potential and in his current mood, should be a serious contender at 20/1.