Cape Town - Rory McIlroy has been criticised after pulling out of the Turkish Open at the last minute.
World No 2 McIlroy was due to begin his bid at the Regnum
Carya Golf Resort tournament on Thursday in the first of the European Tour’s three
Final Series events to decide the Race to Dubai winner.
However, the Northern Irishman withdrew over the weekend to join the
likes of Patrick Read and Martin Kaymer in snubbing the event.
was given, but tour officials had been investigating reports of a
rocket attack at the nearby Antalya resort.
But McIlroy - who pulled out of the summer’s Olympics over concerns
about the zika virus - has been blasted by the president of the Turkish
Golf Federation for his decision.
"Over the last few months we have seen there is a lot of difference
between top golfers and top athletes with some golfers missing events
because of a few mosquitoes. True sports people rise above this,” said
Ahmet Agaoglu, the president of the Turkish
“You can be a superstar, an excellent golfer and sit on top of the rankings, but to be an athlete you need something more.
“This is one of the major golfing events in the continent of Europe
and they have to respect the sponsors a little bit because they are
investing huge money.
“There is $7m prize money this week and Turkish Airlines aren’t just
supporting golf at this tournament. Pulling out is not the correct
“There are things happening everywhere in the world. If they are afraid of such things there is no safe place in the world.”