Most of the news emanating from Europe hasn’t been encouraging lately from an economic standpoint. More words have been devoted to the topic of austerity than ever before. Meanwhile, the airline industry has never been mistaken for a place that possesses excess working capital to burn. Nevertheless, two unlikely partners are taking a high flying chance as Turkish Airlines and the Turkish Golf Federation formally introduced the Turkish Airlines World Golf Final. All eyes in the golf world will be on Turkey and the Antalya Golf Club in Belek come October. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood are committed to headline an eight-player field playing for a first prize of $1.5 million from a total purse of $5.2 million. Rounding out the field are Webb Simpson, Matt Kuchar, Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose and Charl Schwartzel.
The competition, which will broadcast live in more than 50 countries. The four-day event, which will take place Tuesday through Friday, will be played in medal match play format involving two groups of four. Each player will play three matches in the group stages and the winners and runners up will advance to the semi-finals, where the winner of Group A will play the runner up of Group B and the winner of Group B will player the winner of Group A. The players that finish in seventh and eighth place in the event are guaranteed $300,000 for their efforts.
“As one the world’s fastest growing airlines, we are delighted to sponsor an event that not only will be of great interest to golf fans around the globe, but will also introduce a breathtaking world-class golf course to the world,” said Turkish Airlines President and CEO Temel Kotil, Ph.D in a prepared statement. “Turkey is quickly becoming one of the top golf destinations in Europe and this tournament will enhance the country’s reputation as a major sporting destination. Turkish Airlines has sponsored numerous sports teams and events and we are committed to all sports around the world.” Ahmet Agaoglu, President of the Turkish Golf Federation added, “It is an honor for us to be able to host a tournament of this stature. It further demonstrates our mission to have a key place on golf's regular calendar and attract top talent to Turkey.”