The 2014 Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup Qualifying Series in Review
Qualifiers for the Turkish Airlines World Golf Cup began on a hot, sunny morning at the Presidency Golf Club, Mumbai. The first of 50 global qualifiers, which was contested on Saturday 22nd March, featured 94 players who all teed it up in a bid to claim the first two of 100 coveted spots at the Grand Finals.
Dubai was next up and a visit to the Emirates Golf Club, host of the European Tour sanctioned Omega Dubai Desert Classic and Omega Dubai Ladies Masters. The series then made the short trip to Doha before heading back East for the final two events of April in Hong Kong and Karachi.
After just five events in the opening two months, the TAWGC really took off in May with 11 qualifiers taking place in 10 different countries. Kuala Lumpar, the federal capital of Malaysia hosted the opening event of May before the series visited Europe for the first time in Madrid and Munich. Throughout the middle of the month, events were contested in both Europe and back in Asia as ten guests booked their Grand Final ticket with victory in Seoul, Vienna, Beijing, Singapore and Geneva. May’s schedule was completed with two events on the same day – one at the prestigious St. Georges Hill Golf Club in London and the other at Real Club de Golf El Prat, Barcelona.
Guests competed for 24 more Grand Final spots at 12 events in June – signalling the busiest month of the qualifying campaign. Four tournaments in three days – in Amsterdam, Helsinki, Cape Town and Moscow kicked off the month in style. Scandinavia continued to be a gracious host of the TAWGC with two further events – firstly in Copenhagen and secondly in Stockholm where 60 competitors played at the stunning Nicklaus designed Ullna Golf Club. A second stop off in Germany, at Golfplatz Am Alten Fliess in Cologne was followed by the series American debut – on the Dubsdread Course at Cog Hill Golf Club, Chicago – host of 20 PGA Tour events. A further German qualifier, this time in Hamburg was followed by a visit to the number one golf resort in the world at Gleneagles, Edinburgh where preparations were well underway for the 2014 Ryder Cup – which was hosted on the resorts PGA Centenary Course. Tournaments at Sheshan Golf Club in Shaghai – former host venue of Woods, McIlroy and co at the WGC HSBC Champions event and Quinta do Peru Golf & Country Club, Lisbon concluded the June events.
A double-city visit to Italy saw almost 200 guests do battle firstly over La Rovedine Golf Club in Milan and then at Circolo del Golf di Roma in the historical city of Rome. After 23 events in May and June, July was a chance for everyone to get their breath back as the third and final event of the month took place in Frankfurt at Golf Club Neuhof.
August opened with the fifth event on German soil at Stuttgarter Golf Club Solitude followed three days later by a trip to Hollywood for the Los Angeles event at Angeles National Golf Club. A final visit to both Germany – at Golf Club Berlin Wannsee, Berlin and Scandinavia – at Miklagard Golf Club, Oslo was followed by another trip east to Rancamaya Golf and Country Estate in Jakarta, Indonesia.
Seven more events took place in September and as global interest in the event grew, so did the field sizes – over 500 people participated in events during a 20 day period. The Royal Waterloo Golf Club in Brussels played host to the 39th qualifier on the 8th September with visits to Sao Paulo, Lyon, Dublin, Paris and Athens sandwiched inbetween the 45th qualifier held at the world renowned Terre Blanche Golf Resort on the outskirts of Nice on the 28th of the month.
The TAWGC visited five of the six continents of the world during its 50 qualifiers and fittingly, all of them were revisited as the campaign came to a close. There was action on the very first day of October as 72 players in New York enjoyed the world class facilities and hospitality on offer at the Trump National Bedminster Golf Club – host course of the 2017 US Womens Open and the 2022 USPGA Championship. Guests in Johannesburg were also treated to an elite level venue at The Royal Johannesburg and Kensington Golf Club two days later. The re-arranged Buenos Aires event – the only event of the 50 to suffer serious disruption from the weather – was played on the 7th October, three days before the TAWGC returned home to Istanbul for the flagship qualifier – where 106 players were, in addition to the golf, treated to a live performance from one of Turkeys most famous entertainers Ayhan Sicimoğlu & All Latin Stars.
The 50th and final qualifier took place back where it all began on the Indian subcontinent. Kurmitola Golf Club, in the Bangladeshi capital of Dhaka welcomed 78 players to bring down the curtain on a spectacular qualifying series.
The Grand Final
A spectacular Grand Final was the culmination of the 2014 qualifying series. The two-round tournament took place in Belek, Turkey between Sunday 9th November and Sunday 16th November.
The 100 lucky finalists had the opportunity to experience Turkish Airlines’ award winning service whilst travelling to Antalya in Business Class. They stayed at the 5* Voyage Resort and Spa on an all-inclusive basis and experienced all that Belek’s famous golfing resorts had to offer.
The singles stableford competition was played over two gloriously sunny days at Cornelia Golf Club and the prize was well worth winning!
Ten winners from the Grand Finals had the opportunity of a lifetime – playing alongside a leading European Tour professional in the Pro-Am of the Turkish Airlines Open, with the two winners playing with Henrik Stenson and Martin Kaymer respectively.