Players to Watch at the Turkish Open

The Race to Dubai, the European Tour’s season-long competition that comprises 47 tournaments in 31 countries, is approaching the finish line.

Which is why the Turkish Airlines Open is important. It provides the professionals their second-to-last chance to collect points heading into Dubai. Their final opportunity will come this month at the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa.

The event in Turkey will return to the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course, where it was held from 2013 to 2015.

Here are some players to watch.

Speaking of comebacks, another remarkable one has been Wiesberger’s.

Consider that Wiesberger, 34, of Austria was out of action the last seven months of 2018 because of a wrist injury. As recently as May, he had dropped to No. 378 in the rankings.

Those days seem long ago. With his win at the Italian Open last month, his third title this season, he has made an early statement in his bid to qualify for the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits in Wisconsin, which would be his first appearance in that event. He is currently No. 1 in the Race to Dubai.

He has achieved his success without compiling the most impressive statistics in a couple of crucial categories. In putting, Wiesberger ranks 93rd in strokes gained; off the tee, he is averaging less than 300 yards. He does rank ninth in greens in regulation.

Wiesberger, No. 24 in the world, has not emerged out of nowhere. He has won seven times on the European Tour since 2012.

While Rose has not won on the European Tour since he prevailed in Turkey last year, the 2016 Olympic champion is trying to become the first player since Tiger Woods in 2007 to capture the same European Tour event (the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational) three years in a row.

MacIntyre, 23, of Scotland sure doesn’t seem like a rookie — not the way he has played in 2019. The only thing he has not done is win.

The left-hander, who spent more than a year at McNeese State University in Louisiana, has finished second three times, as well as tying for fourth in the Italian Open and tying for sixth in the Open Championship at Royal Portrush. He shot a 68 on Sunday, tied for the third-lowest score of the day.

MacIntyre is clearly full of confidence.

In Italy, he hit a drive off the fairway on the 623-yard par-5 ninth hole. He made a double bogey on the hole before that. His bold move paid off as he reached the green in two, although he had to settle for a birdie.

Van Rooyen, 29, also had a strong showing in Italy, finishing in a tie for 10th. The South African native has put together a solid year, his second on the European Tour.

He won the Scandinavian Invitation in August, and followed up with three top 15s in his next four starts. Earlier this season, he tied for eighth in the P.G.A. Championship.

“The work that I’ve done over the last year and a half or so is definitely paying off now,” said van Rooyen, who is 10th in the Race to Dubai.

It’s safe to say that some of his success results from his short game. In putting, he ranks seventh in strokes gained. The victory in Scandinavia helped his confidence.

“I know how to clean things up when I’m in that position,” he said. “It’s such a satisfying feeling.”

Reed, 29, the 2018 Masters champion who is ranked 15th in the world, has been playing very well over the last three months.

In August on the PGA Tour, Reed captured the Northern Trust, the first event in the FedEx Cup playoffs, and tied for 19th at the BMW Championship and tied for ninth at the Tour Championship. On the European Tour, he tied for 15th in the KLM Open, and tied for fourth in the BMW PGA Championship.

Last week, in China, after an opening 72, Reed, shot 69, 69 and 66 to tie for eighth.

Sahred From Source link Sports

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