Race to Dubai Final Series kicks off in Turkey

Victor Dubuisson of France is defending champion at the Turkish Airlines Open

Victor Dubuisson defends Turkish Airlines Open
Victor Dubuisson defends Turkish Airlines Open
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The European Tour’s Final Series gets underway this week with the Turkish Airlines Open at Carya Golf & Spa Resort in Antalya. Victor Dubuisson of France is the defending champion.

There are just three events left of the 2016 European Tour season and they make up the Race to Dubai Final Series. This week, many of the circuit’s top players have travelled to Turkey to compete in the Turkish Airlines Open at the Carya Golf & Spa Resort, but a number of others have decided to give the tournament a miss.

Henrik Stenson has moved ahead of Danny Willett on the Race to Dubai standings but the Englishman will have a chance to reclaim the top spot as the Swedish star will not start at Carya. In fact, of the top-10 on the Race to Dubai standings, only Willett, Tyrrell Hatton and Lee Westwood will play in the Turkish Airlines Open. With a prize fund of over €6 milllion, there’s a great opportunity for players to make a leap up the standings.

Bernd Wiesberger could move into the top-10 with a good result here, so too could Andy Sullivan, Soren Kjeldsen and Scott Hend. Those top-10 will be in line to share the Race to Dubai bonus pool at the end of the season and that will be a significant driving force for those entered this week.

This tournament was first contested in 2013 when Victor Dubuisson was champion. Brooks Koepka was triumphant the following year before Dubuisson secured an emotional second victory in 2015.

Designed by Thomson, Perrett & Lobb, the heathland inspired course at Carya presents an aesthetically pleasing and immaculately presented test of golf. The course features heathers and detailed bunkering to give that heathland feel.

The weather forecast for the week looks set fair with sunny conditions prevailing.

Venue: Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, Antalya, Turkey Date: Nov 3-6 Course stats: par 71, 7,127 yards Purse: €6,300,000 Defending Champion: Victor Dubuisson (-22)

TV Coverage: Thursday 3 – Sky Sports 4 from 9am Friday 4 – Sky Sports 4 from 9am Saturday 5 – Sky Sports 4 from 9am Sunday 6 – Sky Sports 4 from 8.30am

Player watch:

Tyrrell Hatton – He’s playing some great stuff at the moment. He won the Alfred Dunhill Links and has followed with good results in the British Masters and WGC-HSBC Champions. He’ll be looking to push on and challenge for Race to Dubai bonus pool returns. A victory here would keep him right in the hunt for the big prizes.

Tyrrell Hatton swing sequence:

Matthew Southgate – The Englishman has been on solid form. He was tied 7th in the European Open and then posted top-20s in both the British Masters and the Portugal Masters. He’s just won the European Father & Son Golf Championship with his dad, so he should be feeling in a good place with his game right now.

Nacho Elvira – A player with a great amount of ability who looks like a potential winner, he’s had a second and a third this year and was ninth in the Portugal Masters.

Key Hole: 15th. A great risk/reward par-5 that should be reachable for most of the players in the field. But with water short and left of the green, an inaccurate approach could end up wet. This one should produce eagles and the odd disaster too.

Fergus Bisset
Contributing Editor

Fergus is Golf Monthly's resident expert on the history of the game and has written extensively on that subject. He is a golf obsessive and 1-handicapper. Growing up in the North East of Scotland, golf runs through his veins and his passion for the sport was bolstered during his time at St Andrews university studying history. He went on to earn a post graduate diploma from the London School of Journalism. Fergus has worked for Golf Monthly since 2004 and has written two books on the game; "Great Golf Debates" together with Jezz Ellwood of Golf Monthly and the history section of "The Ultimate Golf Book" together with Neil Tappin , also of Golf Monthly. 

Fergus once shanked a ball from just over Granny Clark's Wynd on the 18th of the Old Course that struck the St Andrews Golf Club and rebounded into the Valley of Sin, from where he saved par. Who says there's no golfing god?