Woods leads star-studded group to compete in Belek
Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil (R) shakes hands with Turkish Golf Federation (TGF) chairman Ahmet Ağaoğlu during a press conference of the World Golf Finals.Tiger Woods will lead the bill consisting some of the top golfers to compete in Turkey as the Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals line-up was announced yesterday.
Apart from Woods, the line-up of the tournament in Belek, Antalya, will include Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Justin Rose, Charl Schwartzel, Webb Simpson and Hunter Mahan.
The Turkish Airlines World Golf Finals is one of the world’s most lucrative tournaments, with a $5.3 million purse, of which the winner receives $1.5 million and $1 million goes to the runner-up.
The tournament is to be played from Oct. 9 to 12, ending on a Friday so that it won’t steal attention away from the weekend of the Portugal Masters on the European Tour and the Frys.com Open on the U.S. PGA Tour, the second event in the Fall Series.
Turkish Airlines CEO Temel Kotil said that this was the first time that the company is involving in such a big sponsorship event in golf and the sport’s image was also important to attract “business class clients.”
Woods’ inclusion in the event has been said to be a possible sign of a sponsorship deal with Turkish Airlines, but the deal was not confirmed by Turkey’s flagship carrier.
Turkish Golf Federation (TGF) chairman Ahmet Ağaoğlu said that Woods’ presence will create worldwide attention to the tournament.
“Tiger Woods ups the rating of a tournament by three times, to have him as a player is very important for the World Golf Finals,” he said.
Turkish Airlines has made several sponsorship deals with high-profile athletes, such as Kobe Bryant and Caroline Wozniacki, and football teams FC Barcelona and Manchester United.