The European Tour's Race to Dubai is nearly over with just three Rolex Series events to go. Here's who we're backing this week...
"Kinhult ranked first in Putting Average at Valderrama so arrives in Turkey with a hot blade and ready to make a big run at his first European Tour win. The joint-industry top price of 80/1 certainly makes plenty of appeal."
Dave Tindall: Back Marcus Kinhult @ 80/1
*EW Terms: 1/5 Odds | 6 Places
Dave Tindall: Back Marcus Kinhult @ 80/1
Marcus Kinhult is one of the first-timers in the field this week but I don't think this resort course in the popular tourist destination of Antalya takes much learning. It was a very similar deal at last month's Portugal Masters and the Swede rocked up there, shot 17-under and finished his debut in a tie for fourth. Since then, the hugely promising youngster has made the top 20 in the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship and taken T22 at the Andalucia Masters. He ranked first in Putting Average at Valderrama so arrives in Turkey with a hot blade and ready to make a big run at his first European Tour win. The joint-industry top price of 80/1 certainly makes plenty of appeal.
Paul Krishnamurty: Back Lucas Herbert @ 35/1
I've been backing Lucas Herbert all year, picking up some lucrative places in what has been a cracking rookie campaign without hitting the big target. The odds about this brilliant Australian prospect are understandably in freefall but there may still be some juice left. Herbert simply has to break through soon. His last three results read 3-7-2, adding to a trio of earlier top-five finishes, and he hasn't done a lot wrong when in contention. This birdie-fest around a relatively easy resort course should be perfect for a player who often tops the driving distance stats and averages 311 yards off the tee. You don't have to be a bomber to win here but, as places for Nicolas Colsaerts and George Coetzee in the last two renewals imply, it certainly helps.
Steve Rawlings: Back Alexander Bjork @ 50/1
Sweden's Alexander Bjork wasn't at his best when he finished 48th last year. He came in to the event with form figures reading MC-40-MC and he hasn't been in terrific form this summer since his first European Tour title in China at the end of April, but that's not at all unusual for a first-time winner. A second placed finish at Walton Heath, a course that inspired this venue's design, three weeks ago was a big improvement on anything he'd done in months and that effort was consolidated nicely with a top-30 finish at the WGC HSBC Champions last week, where he had a Putting Average ranking of ninth. Bjork has win and placed form on numerous tree-lined courses and this venue should be right up his street.
Joe Dyer: Back Joost Luiten @ 33/1
After five months out due to injury Joost Luiten made a very pleasing return to tour action with an 11th place finish at the ultra-tricky Valderrama layout a fortnight ago. That result matched his fourth best of the season and though the Dutchman mentioned a little 'rust' in his Twitter feed that was 10 days ago now and this event on a not overly testing track offers a good chance for another high finish. Luiten's clean long game should keep him out of trouble and set up opportunities to score. As long as he's fit Luiten should be feeling much fresher than the field and the 33/1 looks fair for a golfer with one win in 11 events this season.
Mike Norman: Back Padraig Harrington @ 40/1
Going into last year's renewal of the Turkish Airlines Open Padraig Harrington's highest finish in his previous three months was a T25 at the Portugal Masters, so it augers extremely well that he finished fourth at this venue 12 months ago when largely out of form, yet arrives this week with his game in much better shape. Harrington has three top-seven finishes to his name from his last six starts, and around a course where hitting it miles off the tee isn't hugely important I'm confident that the popular Irishman can go well. In fact looking at previous results at this venue it appears that scrambling could be a key attribute and we all know how good Pod is in that regard. He ranks first on the European Tour for Scrambling, sixth for Sand Saves, and fifth for Strokes Gained (around the green). The players above him in those two latter lists aren't playing this week so Harrington really is the number one player in this week's field when it comes to getting up and down.
2018 Season P/L to date: + £822.16
- Andalucia Valderrama Masters, Ashley Chesters @ 66/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Alfred Dunhill Links, Padraig Harrington @ 50/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- Portugal Masters, Lucas Herbert @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- KLM Dutch Open, Thomas Detry @ 40/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Omega European Masters, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 28/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Made In Denmark, Matt Wallace @ 33/1 - WIN (Mike)
- Made In Denmark, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Czech Masters, Andrea Pavan @ 50/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Czech Masters, Lee Slattery @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- US PGA Championship, Brooks Koepka @ 20/1 - WIN (Dave)
- US PGA Championship, Gary Woodland @ 125/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- WGC-Bridgestone, Brooks Koepka @ 25/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- The Open, Tiger Woods @ 30/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Scottish Open, Ryan Fox @ 45/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Irish Open, Russell Knox @ 28/1 - WIN (Dave)
- BMW International Open, Matt Wallace @ 33/1 - WIN (Steve)
- BMW International Open, Martin Kaymer @ 33/1 - PLACE (Joe)
- Italian Open, Lee Westwood @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- BMW PGA Championship, Kiradech Aphibarnrat @ 45/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Belgian Knockout, Benjamin Hebert @ 50/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Belgian Knockout, Jorge Campillo @ 28/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Rocco Forte Open, Lucas Herbert @ 125/1 - PLACE (Paul)
- Golf Sixes, South Korea @ 16/1 - PLACE (Steve & Paul)
- Volvo China Open, Lucas Bjerregaard @ 200/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- US Masters, Bubba Watson @ 16/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Hero Indian Open, Andrew Johnston @ 33/1 - PLACE (Dave)
- Oman Open, Jorge Campillo @ 40/1 - PLACE (Mike)
- Maybank Championship, Shubhankar Sharma @ 60/1 - WIN (Joe)
- Dubai Desert Classic, Alex Levy @ 50/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- Abu Dhabi Championship, Matthew Fitzpatrick @ 40/1 - PLACE (Steve)
- UBS Hong Kong Open, Paul Peterson @ 80/1 - PLACE (Paul)
*2017 P/L: -£306.84
*2016 P/L: +£267.58
*2015 P/L: +£958.37
*2014 P/L: +£251.75