There are three tournaments left on the European Tour this season and each of them are Rolex Series events. They begin with the Turkish Airlines Open this week with many of the stars of Europe on show.
The top 70 from the Race to Dubai and a few invited players make up the field this week. The Race to Dubai title is still up for grabs and with the amount of money left over the next three weeks a number of players head to Turkey with chances of still winning it.
2016 – Thorbjorn Olesen
2015 – Victor Dubuisson
2014 – Brooks Koepka
2013 – Victor Dubuisson
The tournament takes place at the Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort for the second time this week. It is a par 71 which measures 7,159 yards. The track is set in a forest with undulating fairways and huge greens, so big that greens among greens can be found on the putting surfaces.
The rough is usually kept down and as a result the tournament becomes a bit of a bombers paradise, as evidenced by the three winnings so far even though two of them have been on a different course. The key to success around here is a long driver, aggressive iron play and a decent putter.
Although the Race to Dubai title is up for grabs second placed Sergio Garcia and fourth placed Jon Rahm have chosen to skip the event so there is a chance for first placed Tommy Fleetwood and third placed Justin Rose to take advantage.
Some of the elite players in Europe are in the field here such as Henrik Stenson, Matthew Fitzpatrick, Tyrrell Hatton and Bernd Wiesberger. Form horses Joost Luiten, Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Paul Dunne are also here while Thorbjorn Olesen has shown up to try and defend the title.
Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson are the joint favourites to win the tournament this week. They are 8/1 to win the event. Rose will be looking for back-to-back wins after landing the WGC event last week. Stenson was a runner up in China last week so these two look the genuine front-runners in the field.
Tyrrell Hatton has won his last two ‘normal’ European Tour events and is looking for a second successive Rolex Series title having landed the Italian Open last month. He is 12/1 to win this tournament and it would not be a surprise if he lands another crown but this is a strong field and my gut feel is that price is just a tiny bit skinny.
Matthew Fitzpatrick is 18/1 for another big European Tour event title. He won the final event of last season so we know he can play at this time of year. I just wonder if a lack of length on the key holes could count against him but he’s as good as there is from tee to green which gives him every chance.
Tommy Fleetwood is playing two tournaments within one here. He will want to win the tournament of course but it is only natural that he’ll be looking to cover the tracks of Justin Rose. He is 20/1 to win the title and if the putter gets hot he certainly can’t be ruled out. It is 25/1 bar those named.
I’m going with a couple of main bets this week and they are very much in keeping with recent bets I’ve had. The style of this tournament suits Kiradech Aphibarnrat down to the ground. If there is a concern it is that he’s played a lot of golf in recent times but he has the week before last off so hopefully he will be fine. We saw that great birdie run of his last week and the last time he was in Europe he was firing at flags for the entire 72 holes in Italy. He hits it long, is aggressive and is putting well. He’s my first main bet.
Alexander Levy ticks every box here too. He can give it a mighty rip off the tee box and there isn’t a flag that he doesn’t go after with his irons. We’ve seen him go very low in a number of tournaments and if the putter catches fire then he is going to be right there. The Frenchman has shown some good form in terms of his play if not his results in recent weeks but this could be the week his fortunes change results wise too.
Lucas Bjerregaard arrives here as a tournament winner now and this course should suit him. He is another aggressive player, as we saw when he won in Portugal, and I’m expecting to see that sort of golf from him here. He can let it fly off the tee and if his irons are on it then we know he can find the hole with the short stick. He should be right in contention around this track.
Dean Burmester is another aggressive sort. He is long off the tee so he can get up some very good chances on the par 5s which is essential around here. He’ll go flag hunting this week and if he can make a few putts he could become a big factor this weekend at a very big price.
Marcel Siem is another one who gives it plenty off the tee and there isn’t a course yet that he hasn’t been aggressive on. He isn’t always consistent with his quality but his mindset should be right for this course. When he finds the greens he is generally good with the short stick so if he can get off to a good start he is more than capable of hanging around for the weekend. He has his card for next season and can relax now and I’ve a feeling we might see a good week as a result.
PLACED – Back K.Aphibarnrat to win Turkish Airlines Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 34.00 with William Hill (1/5 1-6)
Back A.Levy to win Turkish Airlines Open (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 46.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-6)
Back M.Siem to win Turkish Airlines Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 201.00 with Boylesports (1/5 1-6)
Back them here:
Back L.Bjerregaard to win Turkish Airlines Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 81.00 with Ladbrokes (1/4 1-5)
Back D.Burmester to win Turkish Airlines Open (e/w) for a 0.5/10 stake at 161.00 with Bet365 (1/4 1-5)