BELEK-ANTALYA, Turkey -- Patrick Reed wasn’t the only late withdrawal from the Turkish Airlines Open, but the 26-year old Texan’s decision not to make the trip to the Antalya region - where last week a car parked near the local Trade and Industry Chamber exploded - has hugely significant implications for at least one other member of the European Tour.
Two weeks ago Englishman Graeme Storm came up one place and €88 short of retaining his exempt status for the 2016-17 season. Reed, currently 44th on the “Race to Dubai” rankings, is one of the 110 men above the former Amateur champion.
Here’s the thing, though. In order to retain his place on the list and so his tour card, Reed must play five counting events on the European Tour schedule outside of the major championships and World Golf Championships. And so far, he has competed in only three - the Scottish Open, the Olympics and the Ryder Cup. If he is to complete his requirement, Reed will have to play in next week’s Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, then the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai. If he does not, his name will presumably be erased from what used to be called the “Order of Merit” and Storm will have his card back.