Rory McIlroy will make the most of his Final Series exemption as he seeks his third Race to Dubai title.
McIlroy in Turkey field
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Much was made of the European Tour’s decision to grant Rory McIlroy a special exemption so he could compete in the Final Series. The talking will finally stop, though, once the Northern Irishman tees off on Thursday at the Turkish Airlines Open.
The four-time major winner has won the Race to Dubai twice – in 2012 and 2014 – and currently tops the rankings ahead of Danny Willett in second and Louis Oosthuizen in third.
Justin Rose’s Hong Kong Open win has made it a good three weeks for English golf. The 2013 US Open winner, who is fourth in the rankings, made it three consecutive wins for Englishmen on the European Tour following success for Matt Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan.
Ian Poulter is also in the field in Antalya after his late entry into the Hong Kong Open in order to be eligible for the Ryder Cup.
Only players competing at the Turkish Airlines Open are up for for selection in Fantasy Golf this week.
WATCH: Rory McIlroy swing sequence
GM tips for this week
USA 1: David Lipsky – A T3 at the Open D’Italia in September proved that Lipsky can compete at the top end of the scoreboard. Good form hasn’t followed, but this could be the week it all changes.
USA 2: Peter Uihlein – After pulling out of the British Masters through injury, not much would have been expected of Uihlein at the Hong Kong Open. However, he secured a T13 finish to give him confidence heading to Antalya.
Great Britain: Andy Sullivan – The win at the Portugal Masters was Sullivan’s third on the European Tour this season. His record-breaking nine shot win shows what he can do when he’s in the zone. One to look out for this week.
Ireland: Rory McIlroy – The Northern Irishman headed to the Frys.com Open two weeks ago to begin the new PGA Tour season, but the real business will be in Turkey. A third Race to Dubai win is a real possibility despite his T26 finish on the PGA Tour.
Scandinavia: Lucas Bjerregaard – He pushed Justin Rose all the way at the Hong Kong Open, finishing one shot behind the Englishman. The Dane has four top 10s in his last six events.
Rest of Europe: Bernd Wiesberger – With seven top 10s this year, including a win at the French Open, Wiesberger could be a strong outside bet. He finished T16 in his most recent event, the Portugal Masters.
Asia: Thongchai Jaidee – He arrives in Turkey with a win and a T13 under his belt in his last two starts. Jaidee is another who could slip under the radar to climb the leaderboard this week.
Africa: Charl Schwartzel – South Africans have fared well in this competition. Between 2001 and 2004 Ernie Els and Retief Goosen won the overall title four times between them. That could be a good omen for Schwartzel, whose best recent finish was T19 at the Porsche European Open
Australasia: Marcus Fraser – The Australian’s stand-out result of late was his T5 at the British Masters. He’ll need to rediscover that level of performance to be a contender in Antalya.
South America: Fabrizio Zanotti – He has three top 5s in his last five tournaments, including T2 at the British Masters. He could surprise a few if he can keep that form going.