The European Tour final series gets underway this week with the Turkish Airlines Open. The event is once again taking place around the Montgomerie Course at the fabulous Maxx Royal Resort. This is the first time that this event has kicked the finals series off but they have still managed to assemble a stellar field of 78 players. Rory McIlroy will no doubt draw the headlines and attention but in the time since he last competed on the European Tour a number of players have improved and he’ll have to be at his best to win and extend his lead in the Race to Dubai rankings.
The 7,132 yard course is a par 72 but not in the traditional sense. There are five par fives on the layout and some shorter par fours which the longer hitters will be having a whack at. Make no mistake, this is a course where distance is important and each player will be looking to play some aggressive golf to give them the best chance of winning (on that note, John Daly at 500/1 with BetVictor anyone?)
Everybody knows how difficult this year has been for Rory McIlroy. Last summer he was at his unbeatable best but he’s been nowhere near there for a while now. A combination of the ankle injury he picked up whilst having a kick about and the putting woes that have crept into his game means he is in need of a boost at the end of this season. This could be the place that Rory gets his swagger back. He’ll be one of the biggest hitters in the field and just needs to make sure that he converts the chances that he’ll undoubtedly give himself. His approach play will be just as important as his putting but he looks set for something special at a decent 9/2 with Coral.
Andy Sullivan will be licking his lips at the prospect of competing alongside Rory once again. Sullivan won his first European Tour event in South Africa way back at the start of the season and has followed that up with two more wins including his incredibly impressive performance at the Portugal Masters. He spoke about how much he enjoyed playing with McIlroy during the Desert Swing earlier on in the year and if Sullivan plays to form there’s no reason he can’t be playing alongside him again in the final group on Sunday. At 22/1 with BetVictor he looks a very good bet for yet another success this year.
Kiradech Aphibarnrat is one of the most hit and miss players in the professional ranks. From week to week he can go from being a hopeless also ran to a champion. The 26-year-old has won three times on the European Tour already making him the youngest Asian player to do so. His swing may be all hands but he generates great power and he’ll be up there in terms of distance of the tee at the Maxx Royal. Aphibarnrat is not the sort of player to be phased by the surroundings or the competition so profit from a good week from him at 40/1 with Betfred.