Stenson To Delight In Turkey
Turkish Airlines Open
The Turkish Airlines Open takes place in Antalya for its second year where Martin Kaymer, Henrik Stenson and Sergio Garcia are all co-favourites at 12/1!
Inaugurated last year, the Turkish Airlines Open is the penultimate event of the European Tour Final Series, which culminates in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. At the conclusion of this event, only the top 60 players in the Race to Dubai rankings will qualify for the end of season showpiece, so competition will be fierce amongst the field of 78, which includes all of the top European stars.
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 last year’s tournament, 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
Ryder Cup hero Sergio Garcia returned to action earlier this month with a second place at the CIMB Classic over the pond and looked in the mood to resume his excellent summer form. But he was below par at the HSBC Championship last week. He kicked off with a 74 and never got into contention at any stage. In a cut-throat competition against the best that Europe can offer, that lack of form is enough to deter me from lumping on the Spanish ace as antepost joint favourite this week.
Henrik Stenson’s post-Ryder cup campaign has followed a similar trajectory to Garcia’s. He took time off after Gleneagles, came back as though he’d never been away, finishing second at the Volvo World Match Play, then disappointed at the HSBC Championship. But although he finished only one place above Garcia last week after a shocking third round 81,
…Stenson bounced back with a final round of 65 to build some momentum going into this week and is a good bet at 12/1 to continue that form in Turkey.
Martin Kaymer is the third Ryder Cup stalwart to share favouritism this week but fared better than Stenson in China. He had struggled in his first post-Gleneagles outing, at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but despite ordinary second and fourth rounds, he showed enough in his third round of 66 at the HSBC Championship to suggest he can compete in Turkey. Back the US Open champion to build on his top ten finish last week at odds of 12/1.
The final name to add to your shortlist this week is Ian Poulter. He’s had a tough year and struggled at the Ryder Cup, but there were positive signs from the Englishman in China last week. After struggling at the BMW Masters, he cracked the top ten at the HSBC Championship and will head to Turkey, where he finished tied for fifth last year, full of confidence. Back him at 20/1.