A mouth-watering threeball of the Race to Dubai Number One, World Number One and US Open Champion will make up the final group on day one of the Turkish Airlines Open by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods and Justin Rose will tee off from the first at 11.05am on the Montgomerie Maxx Royal in Turkey in the third leg of the European Tour’s new Final Series and the penultimate event of the season.
Stenson holds a €325,101 lead over third placed Rose on the Race to Dubai after the Englishman closed the gap with his fifth place finish in last week’s WGC – HSBC Champions in China, and top two finish this week for Rose could see him edge ahead of Stenson heading into the season finale.
The Stenson, Woods and Rose group will be preceded by another star trio at 10.55am featuring Ian Poulter, last week’s runner-up and the next closest challenger to Stenson, former World and European Number One Lee Westwood and Matteo Manassero, winner of the BMW PGA Championship – the European Tour’s flagship event – earlier in the year.
A field of 78 players representing 22 nationalities including seven Major Champions and 25 of this season’s champions will showcase their world class skills for the European Tour’s first event in Turkey this week.
One of the many sub-plots running this week is the battle for a place in the top 60 to qualify for next week’s DP World Tour Championship, Dubai and the two players looking over their shoulders, Soren Kjeldsen (59th) and Danny Willett (60th) will be able to keep a close eye on each other during the opening salvo as they tee off in the same group at 11.05am from the tenth tee along with Simon Khan. They will have the likes of Craig Lee (61st), Garth Mulroy (62nd), Ricardo Santos (63rd) and Paul Lawrie (64th) breathing down their necks this week.
Another sub-plot is who will finish the season in the top ten to share a slice of the $3.75 million Race to Dubai Bonus Pool and both Peter Uihlein and Brett Rumford will be looking to force their way back into contention are being bumped out last week.
Marc Warren, Liang Wen-Chong and Ross Fisher will get proceedings underway in Turkey when they are announced to the first tee at 9.05am, with David Horsey, Mortum Ørum Madsen and Hamza Sayin hitting the course at the same time from the tenth.