Turkish Airlines Open: Danish delight for Olesen

Turkish Airlines Open: Danish delight for Olesen

The battle to finish the season as European number one hots up this week with Tommy Fleetwood looking to close the gap on Ryder Cup partner Francesco Molinari, Phil Casey writes.

While Molinari sits out the Turkish Airlines Open in Antalya, Fleetwood and defending champion Justin Rose are among the field at the Regnum Carya Resort, which hosts the Rolex Series event for the third year in succession.

Rose was a 7/1 favourite last year when he produced weekend rounds of 64 and 65 to finish a shot ahead of Nicolas Colsaerts and Dylan Frittelli, and the world number two’s amazingly consistent form means he is a 4/1 chance this time around.

With form figures of 2-2-8-4-3 it is hard to quibble with that price, but Rose stumbled when in contention to defend his WGC-HSBC Champions title in Shanghai at the weekend and better value perhaps lies elsewhere.

At the top of the market it’s hard to overlook the claims of former champion Thorbjorn Olesen, who was 20 under par in winning in 2016 and finished fifth in a highly creditable title defence last year.

Olesen also comes into the week on the back of a tie for seventh in Shanghai, where he battled back from an opening 75, and the Ryder Cup star can be backed in the each-way market at 14/1.

With another low-scoring affair on the cards, we’ll make it a Danish double with our second selection Lucas Bjerregaard.

Bjerregaard’s course form of 31-48 is obviously nothing to write home about, but it is just a few weeks since he claimed a second European Tour title in the Dunhill Links Championship, while his first victory last year came at another easy resort course in the Portugal Masters.

Bjerregaard ranks fifth in birdie average and can be backed at 28/1 in the each-way market.

Just above Bjerregaard in that category is England’s Andy Sullivan and he makes our list at what could prove rather generous odds of 40/1 each-way.

The last of Sullivan’s three European Tour wins also came in Portugal in 2015 and there have been signs recently of a return to the sort of form which brought him a Ryder Cup debut in 2016, with form figures of 20-10-9 before a lacklustre performance in Shanghai.

And finally, Australia’s Lucas Herbert is making his debut in the event but has finished second, seventh and third in his last three starts and could reward an each-way interest at 33/1.

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