It’s a step into the unknown for golfers and punters alike this week, as the European Tour stops at Antalya for the Turkish Airlines Open, at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course.
This will be the first official European Tour tournament staged in Turkey but it is a key one, as it’s the penultimate event in the Final Series.
Tiger Woods, who is not a full European Tour member and therefore not in contention when it comes to the Race to Dubai, heads the betting at 4/1, but it’s worth remembering that when Woods last came to this part of the world – in last season’s unofficial Turkish Airlines World Golf Final – he only just scraped out of the group stages before losing in the semi-finals to eventual winner Justin Rose.
The world number one has played only exhibition golf since finishing 22nd in the Tour Championship and cannot be supported on all known form.
His conqueror from 12 months ago Rose, though, should be backed at odds of 10/1.
The Englishman’s form took a dip after his US Open success in June, however sixth in the Tour Championship followed up with fifth in last week’s HSBC Champions event in Shanghai suggests he has rediscovered his zest for the game.
Heading into this week Rose told the European Tour’s website: “It’s going to be fun to play in Turkey again, especially as we are in the same area as last year. It’s a different course, but the one we played last year I seemed to get on well with.”
Martin Kaymer has played in both Final Series events this autumn and only one poor round has prevented followers from grabbing some each-way money in both.
The German was 13th in the BMW Masters and eighth in the HSBC Champions event on Sunday and looks a bet again here at 14/1.
His putting was much better last week – he ranked third on the week – and it would not take much for the former world number one to win for the first time in two years.
Pablo Larrazabal has told his twitter followers that ‘the win is getting closer’ and it’s hard to crab his confidence given his run of four straight top 20 efforts on tour including fifth in the BMW Masters a fortnight ago.
His all round game is solid and, after spending last week practicing in Dubai, he is fair value to run a place at least at 50/1 for the win.
My three off the tee – Rose (10/1), Kaymer (14/1) and Larrazabal (50/1).