2018 Turkish Airlines Open Preview
After what feels like an eternity, the 2018 season the European Tour at last enters its final throes with the Rolex Series finals.
First up is this week’s Turkish Airlines Open, followed by the Nedbank Challenge in Sun City, South Africa next week and finally the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai a week thereafter.
There’s lot of money up for grabs and plenty of points towards the final Rolex Series standings, which will then be converted into more cold, hard cash. That’s not to suggest that the pro golfer is motivated by the coin, of course….
If they were, you’d probably expect a stronger field to be heading to Turkey this week. There’s the Ryder Cup trio of Justin Rose, Tommy Fleetwood and Thorbjorn Olesen, but otherwise the event is lacking the pizazz and quality you might expect from such a potentially lucrative payday.
Still, that means there’s plenty for the rest to sink their teeth into this week. It’s a no cut event with a field of roughly 78 players, which includes the top 70 from the Rolex Series standings – or those who can be bothered to show up, anyway – and a selection of invites and local triers.
So what will they be faced with? Nothing too daunting, it has to be said, at Regnum Carya Resort & Spa in Antalya, a holiday destination in Turkey popular with Brits in particular.
Perhaps that is what has influenced this classic English heathland inspired design, which features narrow tree-lined fairways and large green complexes that feature plateaus and shelves; your archetypal ‘green within a green’.
Players will stroll through pine forests and wander past more than one million heather plants – it all sounds rather pleasant, doesn’t it? That relaxed vibe has been confirmed by the winning scores here, with Olesen (-20) and defending champion Rose (-18) shooting plenty of red numbers throughout the week.
Water is in play on ten holes, but there is little else to trouble the players other than the prospect of hitting from the tee box on the sixteenth hole, which is actually located on top of a villa on the course’s grounds!
With all of the above in mind, who makes our team for the Turkish Airlines Open?
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Cover photo via Instagram