Woods hits balls from Asia to Europe on Istanbul's Bosphorus Bridge
U.S. golfer Tiger Woods hits a ball as he poses during an event to promote the upcoming Turkish Airlines Open golf tournament, on the Bosphorus Bridge that links the city's European and Asian sides, in Istanbul, on November 5, 2013. Hürriyet Daily News photo / Emrah GürelWorld’s top-ranked golfer Tiger Woods made an appearance on the Bosphorus Bridge on Nov. 5, making shots to promote the Turkish Airlines Open.
American golfing superstar made a brief appearance, shooting 10 balls on top of Istanbul’s iconic bridge linking Asia to Europe. Followed by a large group of photographers, Woods arrived at the bridge via a helicopter. The bridge traffic was halted between 2 and 3 p.m. due to the event.
The world number became the first golfer to hit balls from East to West on the bridge that separates the continents, in a gimmick that was applied several times in different sports.
The bridge staged an exhibition tennis match between Venus Williams and Turkey’s very own İpek Şenoğlu, a Sunday drive by Formula One’s David Coulthard or regular cross-continent activities such as Tour of Turkey and the Istanbul Marathon.
Woods will be featuring in a strokeplay event for the first time in six weeks at the Turkish Airlines Open, which starts on Nov. 7.
Woods will then travel down to the city of Antalya on the Mediterranean coast to take on Europe’s finest in the $7 million tournament at the Montgomerie Maxx Royal course.
The 14-time major winner also played in last year’s invitational eight-man World Golf Final in Turkey, but this season marks the first time the country has hosted an official European Tour event.
“I had a great time during my first visit to Turkey ... and I’m looking forward to playing there once again,” Woods said in a news release, according to Reuters.
He has not played a strokeplay competition since finishing tied for 22nd place at the Tour Championship in Atlanta in September, the final event of the U.S. PGA Tour’s money-spinning FedExCup series.
Among the 37-year-old American’s title rivals in Antalya will be U.S. Open champion and World Golf Final winner Justin Rose. “It’s going to be fun to play in Turkey again. It’s great for Turkey to have an event in the Final Series,” said the 33-year-old Briton.
This week’s tournament is the penultimate event in the inaugural Final Series, the European Tour’s new FedExCup equivalent.
Rose is third in the Race To Dubai money list on 1.87 million euros ($2.53 million), behind Graeme McDowell (2.05 million) and FedExCup winner Henrik Stenson (2.20 million), with just the Turkish Open and DP World Tour Championship in Dubai to come.
Ian Poulter, fourth on the list with earnings of 1.66 million euros, will look to go one better in Antalya than his second-place finish to American Dustin Johnson in last week’s WGC-Champions Tournament in Shanghai.
Former world number one Lee Westwood also features in the 78-man lineup this week but Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Sergio Garcia are absentees.
First prize in the Turkish Airlines Open is worth 848,930 euros.