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The globe-trotting European Tour visits “Incredible India” this week, one of the Tour’s most fascinating destinations, for the Avantha Masters.
The 156-strong field features some stellar Team Callaway players, including EPGA Tour legend and recent HOF inductee Colin Montgomerie, home favourite Jeev Milkha Singh, and sees a welcome return of big-hitting Alvaro Quiros, who’s been sidelined for 4 months with a wrist injury. Here’s who our “experts” picked, out of the #TeamCallaway staff players taking part, to be in the mix on Sunday.
Dominic Warne (Senior Marketing Manager, EMEA)
Dom’s picks: Jeev Milkha Singh, Kristoffer Broberg and Marc Warren
Very tempted to go for Alvaro this week because it’s not a deep field, but I’ve decided not to. Looking forward to seeing him playing again and hopefully he’ll prove me wrong. So my picks are:
Pick #1: Jeev Milkha Singh
On home soil for his country’s main tournament. His form over the last 9 months and the desire to lead the way for India should see him get a top 10 as a minimum.
Pick #2: Kristoffer Broberg
Since his 2nd place in South Africa in January, he’s not continued that form, however he put in 4 strong rounds last week. The lack of depth in the field, coupled with the fact that he’s almost certainly secured his card for 2014 already means there’s no pressure and his ridiculously dedicated practice regime should start paying dividends.
Pick #3: Marc Warren
Great putter (as I always say) and he’s loving the new woods and irons. Good feedback from our tour team on how he’s doing with his new Versa putter, so I’m sticking with him.
Elliott Platts (PR & Events – UK & Northern Europe)
Platts’ picks: Alvaro Quiros, Pablo Larrazabal, & Niclas Fasth
Pick #1: Alvaro Quiros
The Avantha Masters will see the return to action for the big hitting Spaniard. After a spell on the side-lines with a wrist injury, Alvaro will be focused and excited to finally be teeing it up again. I think that had he been playing this season then the bookies would have him as this week’s favourite and I think that there is every chance that he will punish them with his 50/1 odds
Pick #2: Pablo Larrazabal
I keep tipping him and one of these weeks he will have a ‘hot’ tournament. He has plenty of birdies in his game and I can see him clocking up quite a few across the Jaypee Greens GC course. If he can keep bogeys off his scorecard then I think he will go close.
Pick #3: Niclas Fasth
From what I have heard from the Tour boys, Niclas is loving his new X Forged irons, is looking really relaxed on the course and has some good rounds in him for this season. Hopefully he will find his form in India.
Mike Clark (Custom Fit Supervisor – Europe)
Mike’s picks: Jeev Milkha Singh, Thongchai Jaidee & Alvaro Quiros
Pick #1: Jeev Milkha Singh
How can I not pick Jeev this week. On home soil & playing solidly so far in 2013 he is going to be looking for a strong week. His long game hasn’t been at its best so far this season but on & around the greens he has been simply masterful.
Pick #2: Thongchai Jaidee
Thongchai is always a steady performer, especially when the Tour visits Asia. The 5 time winner on the European Tour has had a good start to 2013 & this is an event I can see him in the mix come the back 9 on Sunday
Pick #3: Alvaro Quiros
First start for Alvaro in 2013 after an injury to his wrist, so it will be interesting to see how he plays this week. Can’t wait to see how many X Bombs he hits first week out and it will be great to see him back out on tour.
Cameron de Buck (Digital Marketing & Social Media – Europe)
Cam’s picks: Pablo Larrazabal, Alvaro Quiros & Jeev Milkha Singh.
Pick #1: Pablo Larrazabal
Pablo has been itching to get back into the action, and hopefully the warm weather of Highveld will suit him. I expect him to go low this week!
Pick #2: Alvaro Quiros
Why Dom didn’t pick him, I just don’t know, even if it’s just for sentimental reasons. And the guy aced the 231yrad Par 3 17th during practice – I mean, C’MON!! New X Forged irons, new X Hot Driver – could be a HOT week for the cool Spaniard.
Pick #3: Jeev Milkha Singh
I backed Jeev 2 weeks ago, and I’m backing him again this week. In the absence of any #TeamCallaway Saffas for me to choose, I will go for the home-grown talent of Jeev, with that swing that is one of the most unique and most recognisable on Tour.
This week also sees the introduction of our scoreboard, where it turns out it’s pretty close (apart from Dom!), so the long golf season ahead should be an exciting one. The points system is detailed below – and look out for our exciting X Hot Picks Challenge Competition, which starts the week of the Masters.
The Points are allocated as follows:
- Win: 15pts
- Top 5: 10pts
- Top 10: 5pts
- Top 20: 3pts
- Making the Cut: 1pt
Every week, the ‘expert’ who has the lowest score will drop out for the following week, to be replaced by a ‘guest pundit‘. And should that guest do well, starting from the Masters, there are some great prizes to be won. More to follow in the next few weeks…
Check out the European Tour website to follow the scores and to see how #TeamCallaway (and our Hot Picks) our doing. To learn more about our Staff Pros and the equipment they’re playing, please visit our Callaway Tour page.
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