Golf goes Med: Turkish resort city Antalya becoming hub for the sport

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 08.11.2019 19:26
British golfer Aaron Rai takes a shot on the second day of the Turkish Airlines Open, Antalya, Nov. 8, 2019. (AA Photo)
British golfer Aaron Rai takes a shot on the second day of the Turkish Airlines Open, Antalya, Nov. 8, 2019. (AA Photo)

Spectacular golf courses and a prestigious international tournament are turning Antalya, an already popular resort city, to a golfer's heaven.

The Turkish Airlines Open, which was launched in 2013, welcomes pros from all around the world until Sunday.

This year's tournament, which began Thursday, is a highlight event for the Mediterranean city. Apart from its famed beaches, it's also a popular training destination for sports teams from around the world.

The tournament, with total prize money of $7 million, is part of the Rolex Series. It is in the European Tour's premium category of tournaments and serves as a decider for Race To Dubai.

This year, 75 players from 25 countries, including star golfer and two-time Turkish Airlines Open winner Justin Rose, are participating in the competition.

The event continues to attract a large audience. Last year's edition had an international TV and internet audience of 542 million.

The Montgomerie Maxx Royal Course which is hosting the tournament in Antalya's Belek district offers a good climate for golfers. It covers more than 6,522 meters and plays to a par of 72. It also has five par-5, eight par-4 and five par-3 holes. It is located within 104 hectares of picturesque, mixed pine forest and sandy ridges, and was designed by Ryder Cup legend, Colin Montgomerie.

Justin Rose, who boasts consecutive wins in the last two editions of the tournament, this year joins Austria's Bernd Wiesberg, 2016 Masters champion Danny Willett, 2018 Masters champion Patrick Reed, British Open's 2018 winner Francesco Molinari and 2019 winner Shane Lowry.

The wild cards of the tournament are 2020 Ryder Cup European team captain, Padraid Harrington and PGA Tour's young star, Pan Cheng-tsung.

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