Prevew: The Final Series tees off with Turkish Airlines Open

Race to Dubai heats up

Race to Dubai heats up

Preview — European Tour — Race to Dubai — The Final Series — Turkish Airlines Open — The Montgomerie Maxx Royal — Antalya, Turkey —

The European Tour’s season-long points competition — Race to Dubai — reaches The Final Series this week in Turkey.

The Turkish Airlines Open is the first of the four-tournament series to crown the europeantourlogo15champion. Rory McIlroy, a runner-away winner last season, enters the week atop the standings, but struggling with his game especially his putting.

McIlroy tees off at 3:55 a.m. eastern standard time alongside Shane Lowry and Danny Willett. Both are in the Top 5 of the Race to Dubai standings heading into The Final Series.

Charl Schwartzel, Lee Westwood, Matthew Fitzpatrick and defending champion Brooks Koepka are competing. Koepka won the title a season ago at 17-under edging

Rory McIlroy current official PGA TOUR headshot (Photo by Caryn Levy/PGA TOUR) ***Local Caption*** Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy current official PGA TOUR headshot (Photo by Caryn Levy/PGA TOUR) ***Local Caption*** Rory McIlroy

Ian Poulter by a shot and Henrik Stenson by three. Poulter was also T-5 here in 2013.

At, Rory is the favorite at 4 1/2-to-1 odds. But, those are steep odds. For a better payoff, consider Bernd Wiesberger at 20-1 and Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who has two wins this season, at 40-1.

Look for Fitzpatrick to ride a wave of confidence into Turkey after winning the British Masters earlier this month.

Rory, who has fallen to Jordan Spieth and Jason Day in the world rankings over the summer, has not won since two victories in May when he captured the PGA Tour’s Wells Fargo Championship and the WGC-Cadillac Match Play in San Francisco.

Other Golf News:PGA TOUR

  • The PGA Tour visits Malaysia this week for the CIMB Classic at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. Ryan Moore is the two-time defending champion at the event which has had Gary Woodland has a runner-up the last two editions. Past champions are all Americans including Nick Watney and Bo Van Pelt. Sergio Garcia,┬áStenson, Hideki Matsuyama and Adam Scott headline the international-born players in the field.
  • RACECMElogoThe season-long Race to the CME Globe continues this week on the LPGA Tour at the Blue Bay LPGA in China. The tour has two more international events before returning to the U.S. mid-November for the finale in Naples, Florida. Lydia Ko, Inbee Park and Stacy Lewis are all competing this week.
  • The Champions Tour hosts the Toshiba Classic in Newport Beach, California Champions Tourbeginning Friday. It’s the final regular-season event before the Charles Schwab Cup Championship near Phoenix. Colin Montgomerie, Bernhard Langer and Jeff Maggert are neck-and-neck for the cup.
  • Stenson is the betting favorite in Malaysia at 6 1/2-1 odds. But, consider Moore at 20-1. Horses-for-courses could make it three in a row.