Danny Willett and Rory McIlroy go head-to-head in Turkey


Danny Willett is determined to round off a memorable year by pushing Rory McIlroy all the way in the Race to Dubai, starting in the Turkish Airlines Open which starts tomorrow.

Willett, 28, has enjoyed an incredible year on the European Tour, with two big victories that have had him in the hunt for the Race to Dubai all season.

After winning the Nedbank Golf Challenge in the first event, he followed up taking a share of sixth place at The Open and by winning the Omega European Masters the following week in July. He also finished third at the WGC Cadillac Match Play won by McIlroy.

The Turkish Airlines Open is the first tournament of the Final Series and the two men know that it will be hugely significant in deciding who wins the Race to Dubai.

After the British Masters, Willett has taken two weeks off to prepare for the final four weeks of the campaign and is excited about the tussle.

Willett said: “It’s great to be in this position and the win at Nedbank was obviously a great start to the year for us and now if I can play nicely for the next few weeks it could be a really nice Christmas.

“We’ll take each week as it comes and it would be ideal to get off to a good start in Turkey and hopefully put a bit of pressure on Rory.

“You put all the work in to get yourself in these situations and now we just want to make the most of it.”

Irishman Shane Lowry sits fourth in the Race to Dubai rankings and will also be looking to make a big impression in Belek.

Andrew Chandler, Chief Executive Officer of ISM said: “We’ve got a really good field in Turkey and these tournaments are exactly what the Final Series is all about.

“It gives the guys that extra little incentive to get up the leaderboard and we’re in for an exciting week.”

Also look out for in-form Matt Fitzpatrick who recently won the British Masters at Woburn, 2015, his first professional triumph, and finished third in the following Hong Kong Open. 

Fitzpatrick said: “It was brilliant to win earlier this month and I really hope I can continue my form into the Turkish Airlines Open. I have heard so much about the brilliant golf in Turkey, so can’t wait to get out there and see what I can do!”

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