So Victor Dubuisson claims his first victory as a professional. Not before time for this talented, enigmatic Frenchman.
Here are 5 Things you need to know from the Turkish Airlines Open:
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1. WOODS SPRINKLES ‘GOLD DUST’ ON TURKEY: Turkish businessman Ahmet Agaoglu thinks Tiger Woods has been worth every penny of his reported €3 million appearance to play in the Turkish Airlines Open.
Agaoglu is not only president of the Turkish Golf Federation, he’s the man with the deep pockets who paid for Woods to appear in Turkey.
In fact, he’s got so much money he’s signed Woods to a three-year deal. The World No. 1 will play the tournament the next two years.
As far as Agaoglu was concerned, Woods’s appearance was like “gold dust.”
“I’ve been involved in sport one way and another for nearly 42 years and I describe Tiger as the best athlete of all time,” Agaoglu said.
“Whatever you pay for an athlete like Tiger it is not much considering what he brings, and believe me, he is not asking for much.
“When you have Tiger in your tournament it makes a huge difference in terms of sponsorship, media interest and TV ratings. About one to one and a half billion people will be watching. . . . and I’m not exaggerating. You get your money back with him, and more.”
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2. LAISSEZ FAIRE ATTITUDE PAYS OFF: Just one question for Victor Dubuisson. What took you so long?
The Frenchman has long been recognized as an outstanding talent, but quite it took him this long to win is a mystery.
He had an outstanding amateur record in the French amateur system, and turned pro in 2010 off a plus-5 handicap. He got his card for the 2011 season and kept it, finishing 110th on the money list. Last year he finished 52nd. Many thought the man from Cannes would have won sooner.
French journalists view Dubuisson as a bit of an enigma. “He does things his own way,” one said a few years ago. “If he feels like practicing then he does, if he doesn’t then he doesn’t. He seems to go with the flow with a sort of laissez faire approach.”
Dubuisson lives in Andorra, that little country between France and Spain. Hardly a hotbed for the Royal and Ancient game.
Maybe his “I’ll do things my own way” attitude explains why it’s taken him until now to win. At least he made his maiden win a big one, overcoming a strong field. It will be interesting to see how he progresses from here.
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3. STENSON FEELS HEAT DOWN THE STRETCH: Sweden’s Henrik Stenson is bidding to follow in the footsteps of Rory McIlroy and Luke Donald and win the money lists on both side of the Atlantic.
He seemed a dead cert before Turkey, but the heat is on as the runners enter the final stretch.
Stenson leads the European money list, the Race to Dubai, by just over €213,000 over Justin Rose, and by a little over €321,000 over Graeme McDowell. Ian Poulter is a shade over €343,000 behind.
With $8 million up for grabs in this week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, the final event of the Race to Dubai, Stenson’s place at the top of the European pecking order certainly isn’t safe.
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4. HORSEY IN, HARRINGTON, LAWRIE OUT:
England’s David Horsey took the 60th and final qualifying place on the Race to Dubai to qualify for this week’s DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. Major winners Padraig Harrington and Paul Lawrie, however, fell short.
Lawrie finished 63rd while Harrington is five spots behind in 68th. Denmark’s Soren Kjeldsen finished in 61st spot, €8,658 behind Horsey.
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5. DONALDSON ACE EARNS HIM A MILLION: Welshman Jamie Donaldson posted a final round 9-under 63 to help him to second place behind Dubuisson.
Included in that score was a hole-in-one at the par-3 16th hole that earned him a cool million. Air miles, that is.
Donaldson’s superb 7-iron means he has one million Turkish Airlines air miles to spend in future. It was his fifth ace, but second on the European Tour.