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Turkish Airlines Open – Antalaya, Turkey.

Rolex Series Event, Star Studded Field, Birdie Scorers Course and a Roof Top Tee Box.

This will be the sixth of eight Rolex series events for 2018 and the first of the final 3 consecutive events to close out the season. As always with a Rolex Series events there is an impressive prize fund of $7,000,000 to tempt the best of the best to compete in what should be a very competitive and exciting event.

The Course

The Championship Course at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort is staging the Turkish Airlines Open for the third consecutive year, with the tournament initially played at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal from 2013-15.

.Located in Belek, Antalya, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, the pristine Regnum Carya hosts for a third year running in 2018 and will this week play at 7,159 yards and to a par of 71.

Turkey’s first heathland-esque layout, the course was designed by Thomson Perrett & Lobb – the international design agency founded by five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson – and is inspired by the classic British courses on which the Australian enjoyed much success in the 1950s and 1960s.

Set on undulating sand hills, with large, undulating and fast greens, more than one million heather plants were added to the existing areas of indigenous heather to create a distinctive look alongside some spectacular bunkering as the holes weave between native pine and eucalyptus trees.

Greens

“The greens are big and undulating and have lots of different sections so Greens in Regulation are important but being accurate into the green is even more important. That’s why it’s key you hit driver most places from the tee. Even if you end up in the semi-rough you still have a chance to get it close.”

The Roof Tee

The tee on 16, sitting on top of a villa above a swimming pool, is quite spectacular and provides a good view! You have the par five 15th before it, which provides a good eagle chance, then you can see the villa from the green and where you’re going to tee off next. It’s pretty cool – and if it all goes wrong then you can throw your club in the pool and maybe follow it in to cool down a little.

The Key Holes

The 505-yard par four tenth

A strong par four. It’s a tough tee shot with water all the way down the left and trees down the right. If you miss the fairway then it’s pretty much a guaranteed bogey, double bogey or worse. Getting out of that hole with four pars would be ideal.

The par fives (seventh, 12th, 15th)

In general, you need to take advantage of the par fives because there are a lot of birdie and eagle chances. Par at those and you’re basically dropping a shot if not two.

Overview from the 2016 winner, Thorbjorn Olesen.

“I think it’s one of those courses, especially last year, where you can make ten or 12 birdies in a round. But saying that, you can also easily make bogeys with a couple of really tough holes out there, including a tough finish on 17 and 18.

“If you nail your driver, though, you give yourself so many good birdie chances. There are some reachable par fives with some good eagle chances so it’s definitely a place where you can really get on a roll if you’re hitting it well.”

The Weather

As to be expected for this destination we are set for fantastic golfing weather, it is currently forecast for nothing other than gorgeous sunshine and a gentle breeze, there is nothing this week that will dramatically affect the outcome of this tournament or that you should even think of weighting in when making your selections.

Key Stats and Strategy

Good Driving stats – Ball doesn’t necessarily need to be in the fairway but certainly needs to be in play. Distance off the tee here can be a huge advantage in creating loads of birdie chances.

Rather than look at greens in regulation, proximity to hole is more important – Hitting the wrong area on the green will certainly take birdie out the equation but could also bring in the dreaded 3 whack.

Birdie conversion percentage – Its due to be a fairly low scoring event and with loads of opportunities out there you will want your picks to score big DK points and although your ‘Steady Eddies’ should compete well, they could find themselves way back on DK scoring even if they finish higher up the leader board.

Putting – The lead stat but hugely related to the points above. Last two year the top players in the field had great putting stats but that was mainly contributed to proximity to hole and often when the green was missed a simple up and down from close to the hole helped keep the score ticking over easily rather that trying to judge longer more complicated putts from length.

Course History or Course Fit – This event has only been played here twice before and doesn’t really give us a clear enough picture to work from. I have however consider performance last year but not necessarily weighted it as highly as course fit.

Form – I want my players to get off to a flyer and that all important confidence starting with the first tee shot and ending with the last putt will no doubt help those lesser known picks stay competitive throughout the week and contend against some of the bigger names in the game.

The Field

With the season coming to a close, valuable Race to Dubai points on offer and a huge prize fund to contend for. We are set for a treat and one of the best represented fields we have had this season. This star studded event has made it really tough to narrow down picks, lots of form competing and lots of potential to winners out there and if there’s players you really like outside of what I have been able to slim things down to I wouldn’t blame you and may even have a little sprinkle of them myself in other line ups.

My Picks

$10,000 +

Justin Rose $11,800

Thorbjorn Olesen $10,300

$9,000 – $10,000

Lucas Herbert – $9,500

Matt Wallace $9,000

$8,000 – $9,000

Kiradech Aphibarnrat $8,900

Alex Levy $8,000

$7,000 – $8,000

Julian Suri $7,900

Erik Van Rooyen $7,300

Padraig Harrington $7,300

$7,000 or less

Sam Horsfield $6,800

Nicolas Colesaert $6,800

Gavin Green $6,500

 

Junkie Jargon

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Studs & Duds

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