Tiger Woods has reportedly signed a three-year deal worth $5.3m to play in a new invite only golf tournament designed to raise Turkey’s profile as one of the world’s best golf destinations.
According to James Corrigan, writing in UK newspaper The Daily Telegraph, Woods will line up against Rory McILroy, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Hunter Mahan and new U.S Open Champion Webb Simpson just nine days after this year’s Ryder Cup at the Turkish Airways World Golf Finals on the Antalya Coast.
He is the main draw at the tournament and it is understood that this will form part of a lucrative new relationship with the airline that will see Tiger promoting golf in the Middle Eastern nation.
The event is reminiscent of Mark McCormack’s first World Matchplay Championship with an elite field selected on World Ranking points.
The winner will receive $1.5 million, the runner-up will collect $1 million, while seventh and eighth will make do with $300,000.
The tournament has been masterminded by International Sports Management, the group headed up by Chubby Chandler, and has met with opposition from the professional golf tours in Europe and the U.S.A.
Major Turkey Drive
The event would appear to be part of a major drive to position Turkey as a nation capable of holding major sporting events and which will see it bid to become host of the 2020 Olympic Games.
From next year the European Tour will include a Turkish Open in April.
Golf is to be reintroduced at the Olympics in 2016 and a sponsorship deal with Woods could have a major influence on raising the profile of destinations such as the Belek coast in Antalya province which already has golf courses designed by Colin Montgomerie, Nick Faldo and five-time Open Champion Peter Thomson.
For more about golf in Turkey, check out Ed Butler’s reader review of Golf in Belek by clicking here.
Read James Corrigan’s article in The Telegraph here: