Turkish Airlines Open: Each-way selections for the first leg of the R2D Final Series

Steve fancies big-hitting Belgian Thomas Pieters to go well in Turkey this week
Steve fancies big-hitting Belgian Thomas Pieters to go well in Turkey this week

We are counting down to Dubai on the European Tour now with the first of the Final Series mega-money events taking place this week in Turkey. Here are our five to follow at the Turkish Airlines Open...

"The name of the game at Maxx Royal is birdie accumulation and that is Uihlein's forte - even throughout a disappointing 2015, he ranks sixth among these for birdie average. He fared well in 11th here last year after a slow start, and 66/1 is a nice each-way price in what looks an inferior renewal."

Paul Krishnamurty: Back Peter Uihlein @ 66/1

*Each-way terms: 1/4 odds, 5 places


Dan Geraghty: Back Danny Willett @ 22/1

Danny Willett is having the season of his life, he's second in the Race to Dubai (R2D), ranked 26th in the world rankings and his wife is expecting their first child; he's not about to let the fact that R2D rival Rory McIlroy has had the rules altered for 'exceptional circumstances' upset him. Willett wants to beat McIlroy by simply earning more money than him and unlike McIlroy, who is making his event debut this week, the Yorkshireman has the advantage of having played here in each of the last two years, improving from 63rd in 2013 to finish an excellent fourth last year. There's every chance we're in for an exciting finish to this year's R2D.


Paul Krishnamurty: Back Peter Uihlein @ 66/1

Both previous winners of this event were young, highly-rated big-hitters and Peter Uihlein definitely meets all those criteria. At one stage he was rated more or less equal to last year's winner Brooks Koepka, although Uihlein has rather been left behind by his friend and fellow American since. He'll get there eventually, and there were positive signs in last week's 13th in Hong Kong and 12th in the recent European Open. The name of the game at Maxx Royal is birdie accumulation and that is Uihlein's forte - even throughout a disappointing 2015, he ranks sixth among these for birdie average. He fared well in 11th here last year after a slow start, and 66/1 is a nice each-way price in what looks an inferior renewal.


Joe Dyer: Back Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 40/1

The tubby Thai swinger is in fine form and I am surprised to see so many names between him and the top of the betting this week. The two previous editions of this event tell us that Colin Montgomerie's unchallenging layout holds few fears and my man, who is an ace putter, should be able to make enough birdies to go close. Two wins this year show he has the cojones to cross the line ahead of the competition and he comes into the event on the back of consecutive European Tour top-fives. Aphibarnrat has shown far more than many of the bigger names this season and his attacking style should see him bully Monty's flat track this week.


Steve Rawlings: Back Thomas Pieters @ 28/1

The first two editions of the Turkish Airlines Open went the way of classy big-hitters, Victor Dubuisson and Brooks Koepka, and I fancy Belgian bomber, Thomas Pieters, already a winner twice this summer, can make it a hat-trick of wins for powerful players at the beginning of their careers in this event. The Colin Montgomerie designed Maxx Royal course suits aggressive types who rack up plenty of birdies and although Pieters is seeing the venue for the first time, I can see him taking to it like a duck to water.


Mike Norman: Back Maximilian Kieffer @ 100/1

During the spring and early summer months of this year Maximilian Kieffer was a regular feature on leaderboards and recorded a remarkable 11 top-30 finishes in 12 events, most of which could have been a lot higher but for poor final rounds when the pressure taps were turned on. That excellent run of form virtually guaranteed the German a place in the Final Series so hopefully some of his recent below-par performances have been down to him recharging his batteries in preparation for the huge weeks ahead. His failure to get over the line from some winnable opportunities is obviously a concern but he's a young golfer making great strides in the game and he fits the profile of recent Turkish Airlines winners in that he is still yet to win on the European Tour, he is long off the tee, and he can make a barrage of birdies when on form. At 100/1 Kieffer looks well worth an interest to return to his best golf.


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2015 P/L (£5 e/w per selection)

Year to date P/L: +£924.20

- British Masters, Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 33/1 - WIN (Paul)
- Alfred Dunhill Links, Chris Wood @ 70/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- European Open, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 150/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Open D'Italia, Rikard Karlberg @ 66/1 - WIN (Mike)
- KLM Open, Eddie Pepperell @ 33/1 - PLACE (Dan G)
- Czech Masters, Roope Kakko @ 66/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Made In Denmark, Kristoffer Broberg @ 25/1 - PLACE (Dan T)
- USPGA Championship, Branden Grace @ 66/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- European Masters, Tyrrell Hatton @ 50/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- The Open, Justin Rose @ 23/1 - PLACE (Ralph)
- The Open, Louis Oosthuizen @ 20/1 - PLACE (Dan T)
- Scottish Open, Eddie Pepperell @ 125/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Open de France, Bernd Wiesberger @ 33/1 - WIN (Mike)
- Lyoness Open, Robert Rock @ 66/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- BMW PGA Championship, Chris Wood @ 125/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Mauritius Open, John Parry @ 150/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- US Masters, Paul Casey @ 66/1 - PLACE (Romilly)
- Thailand Classic, Andrew Dodt @ 100/1 - WIN (Paul)
- Malaysian Open, Anirban Lahiri @ 66/1 - WIN (Dan G)
- DD Classic, Stephen Gallacher @ 25/1 - PLACE (Steve)


*Total P/L for 2014: +£251.75

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