Thorbjørn Olesen will defend his Turkish Airlines Open title at the Regnum Carya Golf and Spa Resort in November in the sixth tournament out of eight in the European Tour’s Rolex Series.
The Dane picked up the biggest victory of his career with his three-shot win at last year’s tournament. The 27-year-old will be joined by England’s Tommy Fleetwood and Europe’s Ryder Cup icon Ian Poulter in Antalya.
He will also be battling with Olympic medalists Justin Rose, Henrik Stenson and Matt Kuchar in a stellar field for the tournament, which is the first of three consecutive Rolex Series events which conclude the season-long Race to Dubai on the European Tour.
Olesen said: “Last year was huge for me. I hadn’t been playing well in the previous few months and it was massive for me to win such a big tournament. The field is looking very strong again this time around but I’ve got good memories of Turkey, the course suits my eye and hopefully I can have another good week.”
Fleetwood has forced his way into the top 20 in the Official World Golf Rankings with a hugely successful season that has included wins at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and the HNA Open de France, as well as second at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
He has played at all four previous Turkish Airlines Opens and currently leads The European Tour’s Race to Dubai. The 26-year-old said: “I’ve always enjoyed playing in Turkey and it’s going to be another big tournament as we head into the final weeks of the season. I’m a fan of the course and I’m looking forward to the week.”
Five-time Ryder Cup player Poulter features in Turkey for a fourth time and has finished second and fifth among his previous visits. “I’ve been pretty happy with my form over the last few months and I’m looking forward to getting back to Turkey,” Poulter said. “It’s always a good week on and off the course and I’m sure we’ll have plenty of fun.”
Turkish Airlines’ Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications Ms. Seda Kalyoncu said: “Our tournament continues to grow year on year and we are delighted to have such prestigious players in Antalya. With this kind of talent on show, we can be sure of another exciting Turkish Airlines Open.”
President of the Turkish Golf Federation Ahmet Agaoglu said: “We are very happy with the strength of the field for November and having players of the calibre of Thorbjorn, Tommy and Ian coming to Turkey shows the significance of the Turkish Airlines Open in world golf.”
As well as bringing the fifth $7m Turkish Airlines Open to Belek, Turkish Airlines also sponsors a Challenge Tour event and the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup amateur series and lets golf clubs travel for free.