Rory McIlroy’s path to the Race to Dubai title got a little clearer Thursday, when all three of his nearest pursuers failed to break 70 at the Turkish Airlines Open.
Jamie Donaldson, Sergio Garcia and Marcel Siem need to win back-to-back events on the European Tour to overtake McIlroy for the year-end title.
Siem was the only one of the three players to break par in Round 1; his 2-under 70 left him seven shots back of Miguel Angel Jimenez. Donaldson shot 72, while Garcia made three bogeys and a triple during an opening 75.
McIlroy has not played any of the Final Series events but could still be named Europe’s top golfer after a season in which he won two majors, a World Golf Championships event and Europe’s flagship tournament (BMW PGA). He is scheduled to play at next week’s season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.