The European Tour starts its three-event Final Series this week but a rash of withdrawals has left the Turkish Airlines Open lacking a little star quality. The BB golf team, however, is undeterred and will be backing the following five this week...
"With security worries keeping the vast majority of highly ranked players away this week, Sullivan looks a very fair price at an industry-wide best of 16/1 in what is a surprisingly weak field."
Steve Rawlings: Back Andy Sullivan @ 16/1
*Each-Way 1/4 odds, 5 places
Dan Geraghty: Back Byeong Hun An @ 28/1
Byeong Hun An has spent the majority of the year as a special temporary member on the PGA Tour, where he's registered five top 25 finishes. The former US Amateur champ came back to Europe in September for the KLM Open where he finished third; he played in Italy the next week, where a first round 65 put him in contention before the youngster eventually signed an incorrect scorecard that disqualified him before the final round. The Korean star admittedly had a disappointing time at last week's WGC event, but his final round 71 was his best round of the event - this week's task looks a far easier assignment, particularly with the recent withdrawals.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Fabrizio Zanotti @ 80/1
When looking at this line-up and new venue, two things immediately struck me. First, this is a very weak event by RTD Final Series standards. Second that the best angle may be to look for an accuracy merchant - avoiding the heather, trees and hitting the correct portion of greens. Hopefully I've found someone who is a big price, despite the relatively weak field, and whose long game is in great shape. In his last ten events, Fabrizio Zanotti has hit at least 70% of fairways and never less than 68% of greens in regulation. That hasn't yielded any spectacular results but he has fared well enough just off the pace in bigger fields and this former BMW International champion has a decent enough pedigree to win at this level. He hit a rich vein of form around this time last year and Zanotti could well close strongly again.
Joe Dyer: Back Alejandro Canizares @ 66/1
This is an odd week on the European Tour with the first of three Final Series events marked by the withdrawal of many star names to give us what looks a pretty average field. Put it this way - I am not feeling overly hyped. But come Sunday there will be a winner and with the field reduced to 78 players it should be easier to find that man than normal (theoretically speaking anyway). Bar Anirban Lahiri and Tommy Fleetwood, who am I not going to play on price alone, I'm not taken with the favourites and will instead choose to play a decent European Tour regular who looks to have the game for the course. Admittedly we are only going by the description on the event's website, but that suggests we need to look for a good tactician who has plenty of control of the ball and he will need to be a good putter. Length off the tee won't be much of an asset either and for that reason I am going to play Alejandro Canizares. The Spaniard is enjoying another very solid season, with five top-10s, and stats-wise looks a good fit for the Turkish test.
Steve Rawlings: Back Andy Sullivan @ 16/1
Andy Sullivan's stats at the Portugal Masters last time out were incredibly good. He ranked seventh for Driving Distance, first for Driving Accuracy and first for Greens In Regulation and only an ice-cold putter denied him a successful defence of his title. If he plays to that level and doesn't improve his putting he could still win and if he holes his fair share and his long game's in order again he'll win with ease. With security worries keeping the vast majority of highly ranked players away this week, Sullivan looks a very fair price at an industry-wide best of 16/1 in what is a surprisingly weak field.
Mike Norman: Back Thomas Aiken @ 60/1
We're all very much in the dark going into this week's Turkish Airlines Open with a new venue set to greet the smaller than usual field, but the general consensus is that the course should reward accurate types. For that reason I'm siding with Thomas Aiken who ranks number one on the European Tour's Greens in Regulations stats, which is obviously very encouraging. But this talented South African has been playing quite well recently also, mixing his appearances between the European, PGA, and Web.com Tours. His best performance of the season however came at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, where he finished fourth amongst a top-class field, so approaching the time of the year where Aiken likes to have his game in great shape as he prepares to play the many South African events over the next few months, I fancy he'll go well in Turkey at a nice price.
2016 Season P/L to date: + £40.08
- WGC HSBC Champions, Henrik Stenson @ 22/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- British Masters, Graeme McDowell @ 33/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- European Open, Bernd Wiesberger @ 14/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- European Masters, Andrew Johnston @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Made In Denmark, David Lipsky @ 55/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- The Open, Sergio Garcia @ 25/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Scottish Open, Nicolas Colsaerts @ 40/1 - PLACE (Luke)
- Open de France, Thongchai Jaidee @ 60/1 - WIN (Joe)
- BMW International Open, Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 80/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- US Open, Branden Grace @ 50/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Nordea Masters, Nicolas Colsaerts @ 33/1 - PLACE (Dan T)
- BMW PGA Championship, Thomas Aiken @ 100/1 - PLACE (Dan G)
- Mauritius Open, Jeunghun Wang @ 16/1 - WIN (Dan G)
- Mauritius Open, Nicolas Colsaerts @ 28/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- Shenzhen International, Scott Hend @ 50/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- True Thailand Classic, Scott Hend @ 40/1 - WIN (Dan T)
- True Thailand Classic, Thomas Pieters @ 22/1 - PLACE (Dan G)
- WGC Cadillac Championship, Danny Willett @ 66/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Perth International, Peter Uihlein @ 33/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Tshwane Open, Dean Burmester @ 28/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Dubai Desert Classic, Andy Sullivan @ 33/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Thomas Pieters @ 50/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Joost Luiten @ 66/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- South African Open, Christiaan Bezuidenhout @ 250/1 - PLACE (Dan G)
- Alfred Dunhill Championship, Joost Luiten @ 40/1 - PLACE (Joe)
* Total P/L for 2015 Season: +£958.37
* Total P/L for 2014 Season: +£251.75