Turkish Airlines was announced as the title sponsor of The European Tour’s new US$7 million event in Turkey between the dates 7-10 November, a tournament which will not only form part of inaugural Final Series on The Race to Dubai, but one which will also feature World Number One Tiger Woods. The Turkish Airlines Open will take place at The Montgomerie Maxx Royal, in Belek, Antalya, the week before the DP World Tour Championship. Woods, the 14-time Major Champion, will be part of the 78-man field, having also played in last year’s Turkish Airlines World Golf Final – a precursor for the new European Tour event.
Woods, who has already won four times this season on the US PGA Tour including the recent Players Championship, said: “I had a great time during my first visit to Turkey. Turkish Airlines, the Turkish Golf Federation and the fans who came to watch made it a really special event and I’m looking forward to playing there once again.”
Last year’s eight-man event, won by Englishman Justin 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.
It will form a central part of The Final Series, the new four-tournament conclusion to The Race to Dubai comprising the US$7 million BMW Masters, the US$8.5 million WGC – HSBC Champions, the US$7 million Turkish Airlines Open and the US$8 million DP World Tour Championship, Dubai – offering a combined prize fund of US$30.5million.
Faruk Cizmecioglu, Chief Marketing Officer at Turkish Airlines, said: “We are proud to support a top-class European Tour event and delighted to see Tiger competing in Turkey for the second year.”
Ahmet Ali Ağaoğlu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation, said: “It is an honour to welcome back the World’s Number One golfer to what is, in our opinion, the best golfing destination in Europe. We are thrilled to have the support of Turkish Airlines and are looking forward to once again proving that Turkey is more than capable of hosting world-class sporting occasions.”
Keith Waters, Chief Operating Officer and Director of International Policy for The European Tour, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Turkish Airlines on board as the title sponsor of The Turkish Airlines Open; a partnership which will greatly enhance what is shaping up to be a very exciting tournament in Belek in November.
“Part of the reason for that is the news that Tiger Woods will return once again to compete. We are always delighted to welcome Tiger to the field for a European Tour event and we look forward to seeing him in action once again in Turkey in November.”
It is not only in the professional golfing arena that Turkish Airlines will have an influence in 2013, as the airline is also title sponsoring a new amateur event – The Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup – which will span 12 cities around the world this year, expanding to 24 in 2014.
This year has already seen Dubai, Singapore and Tokyo stage events, with the tournament set to continue in Seoul, Beijing, New York, Moscow, Milan, Frankfurt, Paris, Delhi and London.
The 2013 Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup Final will conclude in Antalya at the same time as the Turkish Airlines Open, with the winner of the tournament having the chance to partner with Tiger Woods himself during the Pro-Am of the Turkish Airlines Open.