Tiger Woods is the headline star at the Turkish Airlines Open presented by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and opened proceedings with a stunning display from the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul on Tuesday before moving on to Belek for the first ever European Tour event held in the country.
In a week when many of the world’s best golfers tee off in the penultimate event of the season-long Race to Dubai, 48 amateurs from around the world were in Antalya taking part in the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup Grand Final.
“It is going to be a magnificent week for Turkey and its people and will announce to the world our desire and determination to further our high standing among the world’s foremost destinations for golf and tourism,” said Faruk Cizmecioglu, Chief Marketing Officer at Turkish Airlines.
World Number One Woods arrived by helicopter for an historic photo shoot in Istanbul when he became the first golfer to hit balls from East to West on the iconic Bosphorus Bridge separating the two continents.
The 14-time grand slam title winner started taking on Europe’s finest at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course in Belek adjoining the shimmering clear waters and white sandy beaches of Antaya’s beautiful Mediterranean coastline yesterday.
“Last year we had a fantastic time,” said Woods, who played in the eight-man Turkish Airlines World Golf Final – a pre-cursor to this event – in October 2012. “It was a completely different format but this has turned into one of the biggest events on the European circuit.”
No fewer than 48 amateurs from New York to Tokyo and Dubai, Singapore, Tokyo, Seoul, Beijing, Moscow, Milan, Frankfurt, Paris, London and Delhi in between, took part this week in a pairs better ball stableford tournament for the inaugural Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup Grand Final.
“We are proud to have so many distinguished golfers in Turkey at one time and are equally delighted to host both the first European Tour event here and the amateur Grand Final which represents what a truly global network Turkish Airlines operates,” added Mr. Cizmecioglu.