World number one Tiger Woods is to compete in the inaugural Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya in November, the European Tour said yesterday.The $7 million event at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Belek will form part of the new Final Series on the Race to Dubai, Europe’s lucrative end-of-season equivalent of the U.S. Tour’s FedEx Cup competition.
Fourteen-time major winner Woods also featured in last year’s unofficial World Golf Final in Turkey played at the nearby Antalya Golf Club. That invitational eight-man tournament was won by Justin Rose who claimed a first prize of $1.5 million after he defeated fellow Briton Lee Westwood by one stroke in the final.
“I had a great time during my first visit to Turkey,” Woods said in a news release. “The fans who came to watch made it a really special event and I’m looking forward to playing there once again.”
The Turkish Open is to be held from Nov. 7-10 and will have a 78-strong field The European Tour’s inaugural Final Series also comprises two events in Shanghai, the $7 million BMW Masters from Oct. 24-27 and the $8.5 million WGC -Champions Tournament from Oct. 31-Nov 3. The series offers a combined prize fund of $30.5 million and ends with the $8 million DP World Tour Championship in Dubai from Nov. 14-17.
“Last year’s eight-man event, won by Rose at the nearby Antalya Golf Club, provided a taste of the world-class golf to come in Turkey, and the new Turkish Airlines Open now becomes a fully-sanctioned European Tour event,” the Tour said in a statement.