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Rory McIlroy won't play Turkish Airlines Open because of security concerns; Patrick Reed out, too

October 30, 2016

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The European Tour’s Turkish Airlines Open was hoping to have both Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in its field later this week, as well as Patrick Reed. Now it has none of them.

Woods, when he withdrew from the Safeway Open in Napa, Calif., also said he would not be playing the Turkish Open, either, citing the fact that his game was not sufficiently honed to compete against the best players in the world.

McIlroy, meanwhile, announced he would not play, because of heightened security concerns in Turkey, the BBC reported. Reed, who intended to play the event, was on the entry list as late as Saturday, but was not on it on Sunday, though no other details are available. David Lipsky is the only American in the field.

“It was weighing on my mind and I slept a lot better knowing that I’d made a decision," McIlroy, who tied for fourth in the WGC-HSBC Champions on Sunday, said. “I gave it a lot of thought, basically all week. The fact that I have won the FedEx Cup this year and that I have won the Race to Dubai before made the decision a little bit easier.”

The U.S. Department of State on Saturday issued an updated Turkey Travel Warning that ordered “the departure of family members of employees posted to the U.S. Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey. The Department of State made this decision based on security information indicating extremist groups are continuing aggressive efforts to attack U.S. citizens in areas of Istanbul where they reside or frequent.”

The Turkish Airlines Open is in Antalya, about 300 miles south of Istanbul. However, the Antalya area was hit with three rocket attacks earlier this month.

Meanwhile, the State Department “continues to warn U.S. citizens of increased threats from terrorist groups throughout Turkey. U.S. citizens should avoid travel to southeast Turkey and carefully consider the risks of travel to and throughout the country."

In June, the Ladies European Tour canceled the Turkish Airlines Women’s Open because of security threats.