Stenson, Reed, Schwartzel all withdraw from Turkish Airlines Open

Henrik Stenson is not competing in Turkey this week. (Getty Images)
Henrik Stenson is not competing in Turkey this week. (Getty Images)

Several big names have followed Rory McIlroy in withdrawing from this week’s Turkish Airlines Open, the first of the three-event Final Series on the European Tour.

Open champion Henrik Stenson, Ryder Cup hero Patrick Reed and 2011 Masters winner Charl Schwartzel have opted out of the 78-player event, played in the resort area of Antalya, which has been target of a number of attacks in recent weeks.

More broadly, Turkey has been victimized by attacks from various forces, including ISIS. A failed military coup in July caused more concerns.

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Stenson, the Race to Dubai winner in 2013, is the current points leader after his joint runner-up finish in China. He chose to go home to Orlando to work on his game in preparation for the final two events. Danny Willett, who Stenson passed for the top spot, is in the field in Turkey.

Reed, who finished T-51 at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia and T-60 at the WGC-HSBC Champions in China, intended to play in the event as part of an effort to maintain European Tour status.

After the Turkish Airlines Open, the Nedbank Golf Challenge in South Africa debuts as a new 72-player event. It all ends in Dubai with the 60-player DP World Tour Championship. The points winner at the end of the season earns a $1.5 million bonus, with the top 10 finishers in the Race to Dubai getting bonus money.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.