The field for next week’s Turkish Airlines Open will apparently be missing some serious starpower as the region continues to deal with security concerns.
Rory McIlroy announced over the weekend that he had withdrawn from the first event of the European Tour‘s three-event final series, citing reasons that he described as “obvious.” But he won’t be the only notable player skipping the 78-man, no-cut event, as American Patrick Reed and Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson are also missing from the latest field list.
Reed had indicated last month that he would play in Turkey as he sought to maintain his European Tour status. He followed a T-51 finish at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia with a T-60 finish this week at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China.
Stenson, who won the Race to Dubai in 2013, took the overall points lead from Danny Willett with his runner-up finish in China, but then told reporters that he planned to return to Florida rather than head to Turkey.
“Back home to Orlando, do a bit of work with (swing instructor) Pete (Cowen) and then hopefully I can just carry on for the final two weeks,” Stenson said.
The newly-created final series kicks off next week in Turkey, followed by the 72-man Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa and concluding with the 60-man DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
The U.S. State Department has issued a travel warning for Turkey, advising Americans to “avoid travel to Southeast Turkey and carefully consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country.” Earlier this week a car explosion injured a dozen people in Antalya, the host city for next week’s event.
The field list as of Sunday includes only three players currently positioned inside the top 10 in the Race to Dubai standings: Willett (No. 2), Tyrrell Hatton (No. 5) and Lee Westwood (No. 10). In addition to Stenson and McIlroy, those in the top 10 who are not listed in the field include Alex Noren, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Louis Oosthuizen, Chris Wood and Branden Grace.