Turkish Airlines Open: Donaldson to keep Dubai dream alive

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The European Tour season is about to round its final corner with the Turkish Airlines Open, and content with his sizeable points lead over the rest of his Race To Dubai challengers, world number one Rory McIlroy has opted to sit out the penultimate event of 2014.

This is a completely understandable decision, given only three other men can perceivably catch the double-major winning Ulsterman, who has carved himself out a 2, 943,536 points lead.

Meanwhile, if any one of the three were to supersede McIlroy as the top European, they would have to win here in Turkey and then claim the season-ending DP World Tour Championships in Dubai, with both events carrying 1,666,600 points for the winner.

However, while it is still possible – and let’s not forget Billy Horschel won the final two tournaments on the PGA Tour to claim last season’s FedExCup – Sergio Garcia, Jamie Donaldson and Marcel Siem will be trying their damnedest.

All three men line up in Turkey and it’s not just Donaldson’s exquisite season-ending form which marks out the 16/1 shot, ahead of joint 12/1 favourite Stenson and 50/1 tempter Siem.

The Welsh Ryder Cup hero tied for 24th with Stenson at the HSBC World Championships on his last appearance – which astonishingly rates his worst finish in seven outings across both tours – but it is his scorecard from the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course 12 months ago which is the icing on the cake for this bet.

Three sub-70 rounds in Turkey were polished off with an incredible display of putting which saw the Pontypridd native card a near-flawless 63, capturing him the runner-up spot.

Away from the big-name frontrunners, another man with current and course form is South African George Coetzee, who should be lapped up at each-way odds of 25/1.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.