We're into the Final Series on the European Tour and 110 cards have been earned for 2016. Attention now turns to the top 60 of the Race To Dubai rankings and eyes will be on the Harry Vardon Trophy, and also the bonus pool to be shared amongst the top 15 finishers following the season ending Dubai World Championship. The Turkish Airlines Open field will be 78 players deep with OWGR and tournament invites also coming into play.
Rory McIlroy - 6.00 - will headline the third edition of the event at the Colin Montgomerie designed Montgomerie Maxx Royal Golf club in Antalya. Winners of the previous two editions of this event have been the big hitting Brooks Koepka and Victor Dubuisson - 46.00. Having said that, leaderboards show a strong mix of playing styles. Ian Poulter- 21.00 - has twice been a prominent feature here and tees it up again following a flying visit to Hong Kong last week to secure European Tour status. Bernd Wiesberger - 23.00 - may prove the man to beat should Rory be lacking his A-game.
The course - Montgomerie Maxx Royal
There's no outstanding pattern of player profile looking down the leaderboards of the previous two editions of this event but the two big hitting winners took advantage of five par 5s on the Colin Montgomerie layout. The course comprises 5 long holes and also 5 par 3s and plays to a par 72 circa 7,150 yards in total. As you may expect with the man behind the design, the course is equipped with "many strategic options" from the tee. It runs through "mixed pine forest and sandy ridges" with the back nine playing tighter than the front. Water comes into play on numerous holes while fairways are of average width but contouring. The dominant stat on the previous two leaderboards here is GIR while total driving also catches the attention. Greens are large and undulating so proximity will be the premium.
Three from the pack
Andy Sullivan - 21.00 or 5.00 - is the standout of those near the head of the market. Andy had 2 wins in close proximity at the beginning of the year and tends to be a streaky player. His win in Portugal last time out where he blitzed the field in impressive fashion is a positive rather than a negative for me going into this week. We see some players disappear for a while after a victory but others, like Andy, seem to keep it going full throttle. Sullivan for me is still underrated and he also has the course form box ticked securing a T4 here in 2014, despite a poor 2nd round. Sullivan was 11th in driving distance in Portugal while hitting 71% of fairways so he won't be at a disadvantage on the par fives either.
Charl Schwartzel - 26.00 or 6.00 - is proving a real hard player to get right but at 5 times the price of Rory McIlroy, and truth be told - the only one close to the Irishman in this field (if on his game), I feel I have to get him onside in some respect given he was flushing it last time out enroute to a T6 at Silverado North. Charl was T16 in GIR and 11th in strokes gained: tee to green at the Frys Open. After opening the week with a double, the South African only carded 3 more drop shots in 71 holes. Schwartzel excels from tee to green and should be a good fit around here. He has experience of the course with 4 rounds of 70 or better back in 2013.
Stephen Gallacher - 81.00 or 15.00 - is the perfect fit for the test awaiting the players in my opinion. Stevie is a tee to green expert who has suffered a poor season following a disappointing Ryder cup last year. The Scot has has progressive 25-15 finishes on the Mongomerie Maxx and looks to be finally hitting first gear again. Gallacher was arguably the standout from tee to green in Portugal, ranking 24th in driving accuracy, 5th in driving distance and 3rd in greens in regulation enroute to a top 10 finish. This impressive striking and recent simmering form - including a top 20 at the Dunhill Links - added to his inflated price are main reasons behind backing Gallacher this week.
Quick shout for Jorge Campillo - 251.0 or 41.00 - this week. The talented Spaniard is returning to form with progressive T46, T6 finishes in his last 2. Campillo makes a lot of birdies when on form and has the ability to dismantle the par 5s. He owns 3 top 10s this year.