Danny Willett wasn't going to miss the Turkish Airlines Open unless tournament "wasn't on"

The Masters champion is currently second in the Race to Dubai standings and needs a good performance to leapfrog Henrik Stenson

BY Cian Roche 13:43 Wednesday 2 November 2016, 13:43 2 Nov 2016

Image: Jane Barlow PA Wire/PA Images

Danny Willett insists he was undeterred about coming competing at the Turkish Airlines Open this week despite fears over security concerns in the country.

An explosion in a car parked outside the Antalya Trade and Industry Chamber injured around a dozen people on Tuesday and left The European Tour reportedly close to cancelling the tournament.

Despite the reports in the local media, the 2016 Master champion assured Nick Dye he had no intention of skipping the event.

"I was in regular contact with Keith Pelley [Tour CEO]," he said. "It was one of those where if the tournament was happy to go ahead like when we made the decision to go to Rio quite early, we stuck by it all the time.

"There's a lot greater things here at risk. If the guys say that everything is alright down here then we  were always going to come down. We were only going to pull out if the tournament wasn't on.

"We're down here now and there's no sign of anything going on. It's been lovely so hopefully it stays like that for the full week."

Willett in reality can't afford to miss the event if he wants to close the gap on Race to Dubai leader Henrik Stenson and his performance last week at the WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai - where he finished 75th on +14 - means he will need to be on top of his game come Thursday.

"I had a terrible week last week and it was one of those where anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. I didn't play great.

"Then to put the icing on the cake, Henrik [Stenson] and Rory [McIlroy] finishing up there as well. It's unfortunate that [Stenson]'s jumped us but we were never going to win the Race to Dubai on the amount that we were on. We always had to bump it forward.

"That's still the aim. Hopefully the golf game keeps getting better and we keep on moving forward... There's still a lot of golf left, it's just that I've not been playing very well. That's the main aim over the next three weeks.

"Depending on nobody doing anything silly over the next few weeks, Dubai could be really, really good."

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