Race to Dubai: Tommy Fleetwood looking to close gap in Turkey
By Ali Stafford
Last Updated: 31/10/18 2:02pm
Tommy Fleetwood has an opportunity to significantly close the gap on Francesco Molinari in the Race to Dubai standings at the Turkish Airlines Open.
The Englishman heads to Antalya in second spot as he bids to end the year as European No 1 for the second successive season, although he trails his Ryder Cup playing partner by over 1.2 million points with three events left in the campaign.
Fleetwood has posted top-10 finishes in his last three European Tour starts since helping Europe to Ryder Cup victory at Le Golf National, including a tied-seventh finish at the WGC-HSBC Champions last week, with the 27-year-old hoping to build on his run of form in Turkey.
With Molinari sitting out the Rolex Series event at Regnum Carya Golf & Spa Resort, where there is no cut, Fleetwood will reduce the Italian's advantage regardless of the result this week.
A second win of the season for Fleetwood would see him collect $1,166,000 and get within 50,000 points of Molinari, while finishing in outright seventh or better would be enough to close the deficit on The Open champion to less than a million.
Only three of the current top 10 on the Race to Dubai are teeing it up in Turkey, with 2016 champion Thorbjorn Olesen and world No 2 Justin Rose the other names in action.
Olesen starts seventh in the standings but could move as high as second with a win this week, while a successful title defence for Rose could take him to third and keep his hopes alive of topping the PGA Tour and European Tour money standings in the same calendar year.
Russell Knox and Lucas Bjerregaard, sitting 12th and 13th respectively in the standings, also feature, with Alexander Bjork and Matt Wallace - a three-time winner on the European Tour this season - are also in the 78-man field.
Molinari is also currently not scheduled to appear at the Nedbank Golf Challenge next week, where Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy have already confirmed they will take part, before returning to action at the season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
Race to Dubai standings (after WGC-HSBC Champions)
Watch the Turkish Airlines Open throughout the week live on Sky Sports. Live coverage begins on Thursday from 9am on Sky Sports Golf and Sky Sports Main Event.