Tiger Woods follows the money as Turkey enters global market

World No 1's appearance at country’s first European Tour event key in guaranteeing the desired media attention

Istanbul

What, you might ask, is Tiger Woods doing whacking golf balls across a bridge over the Bosphorus? Like any independent trader, yes that’s how Woods described himself in Turkey, the world No 1 golfer goes where the money is. In this case £1m for tooling up at the Turkish Airlines Open, which begins in Antalya on Thursday. Prize money is just a bonus.

This is Turkey’s entry into the global golf market, the country’s first European Tour event, aimed at driving golf tourism in the south and projecting the country as a nation going places. The appearance of Woods is central to the piece, guaranteeing the requisite media gaze upon the region that your standard world-class golfer just does not command.

Woods plays in the final group today alongside the only current major winner in the field, the US Open champion, Justin Rose. The organisers cleared a conference suite at the Maxx Royal Hotel for Woods, who sat at the top table alongside the Turkish minister for culture and tourism, Omer Celik.

“I’ve hit balls down runways at airports before but never down a bridge,” Woods said. “And the scary part was, I just flew in from a 12-hour journey, hopped off a plane and had to hit a driver down the narrowest fairway I’ve ever seen.

“The wind was coming off the left a little bit and all these cars were driving on the right, so if I lose any balls to the right, there’s an international incident right there. So that was a little nerve-wracking.”

This event is the third of four tournaments in the inaugural Final Series, the European Tour’s attempt to emulate the FedEx Play-offs in America.

The appearance of Woods has plugged the gap left by the absence of other big ticket-sellers but the tour cannot rely on independent tradesmen to bail them out every year. Emergency callouts are just too expensive.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there