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Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship

The Marketing Zoo Crew (our Marketing Department across the pond) are almost as competitive as we are, and have started a great little event where they make bold predictions every week as to who they think, out of our Callaway Staff Pros, will perform best on the PGA Tour.

We love the idea, and more importantly, we think we can out-pick them at their own game!

So starting this week, four members of OUR Marketing Department (whacky name still to be confirmed) will also pick three Callaway staffers we like from the European Tour and give our take on why these pros will be in the mix on Sunday afternoon.

We’ll keep track of the standings, offer up Monday recaps and even bring in some guest picks from Callaway fans throughout the season. Expect great insight (and some not-so-great) with plenty of banter mixed in. So without further ado, here are our picks for the HSBC Golf Championship in Abu Dhabi.

The Picks

Dominic WarneDominic Warne (Senior Marketing Manager, EMEA)
Dom’s picks: Thomas Bjorn, Danny Willett, Kristoffer Broberg.

Pick #1: Thomas Bjorn
Always plays well in the desert, 3rd last year in Abu Dhabi, good performance last week

Pick #2: Danny Willett
His time is now. Former world amateur no. 1, first Tour win in 2012, good performance in South Africa last week.

Pick #3: Kristoffer Broberg
2nd in first start on European Tour in first full year on Tour, amazing performance on Challenge Tour in 2012 (7 starts, 4 wins, 1 playoff loss, 2 other top 10s) and practices like a demon

Elliott PlattsElliott Platts (PR & Events – UK & Northern Europe)
Platts’ picks: Kristoffer Broberg, Thomas Bjorn, Branden Grace.

Pick #1: Kristoffer Broberg
The Swede was in sensational form winning four Challenge Tour titles to secure his European Tour 2013 card. In his first full event at the Alfred Dunhill Championship at Leopards Creek, the birdie machine, finished second and I have a sneaky feeling that he will go one better this week. He will make the 2014 Ryder Cup team – you heard it here first!!

Pick #2: Thomas Bjorn
I’ve been hearing positive vibes from the Tour team that Bjorn is all set and raring to go in 2013. The big hitting Dane finished tied 3rd at last year’s event and after closing with a round of 68 to finish tied 9th last week he will be in good spirits.

Pick #3: Branden Grace
After opening with a 75 last week he hit back with three sub-70 rounds to finish tied 7th and maybe this week he will get his hands on another title. With four wins on Tour last season, what is next for the South African star – maybe a Major!

Mike ClarkMike Clark (Custom Fit Supervisor – Europe)
Mike’s picks: Ernie Els, Branden Grace, Alex Kaleka.

Pick #1: Ernie Els
The Open Champ has a fantastic record in the Desert over the years and looked good last week.

Pick #2: Branden Grace
4 time winner last year says it all. Struggled a little in the Desert events last year but pure class so should have learned a lot from those events.

Pick #3: Alex Kaleka
Back on the main tour, via the Challenge Tour after losing his card at the end of the 2011 season. A strong young player that has all the ability and now some experience. Could be a surprise package in 2013.

Cameron de BuckCameron de Buck (Digital Marketing & Social Media – Europe
Cam’s picks: Thongchai Jaidee, Danny Willett, Branden Grace.

Pick #1: Thongchai Jaidee
Thailand’s most famous golfing export is coming off a strong finish at the Volvo Champions in Durban, traditionally starts well early in the season and should love the heat that the desert swing has to offer.

Pick #2: Danny Willett
Tied 5th at the Volvo, a top 20 at he Alfred Dunhill and -10 in Dubai last year, the former world Amatuear No. 1 is due another win. Soon.

Pick #3: Branden Grace
As the resident South African in the Marketing team, I’m more likely than not going to choose a fellow Saffa in my three picks. ‘Gracie’ is in good form, full of confidence and knows he can mix it up with (and beat) the best of them!

The Final Word

Three quarters of us (yes, 3 out of 4!) picked Branden Grace, and who wouldn’t after the year he had in 2012?! And there were two picks each for Willett and Broberg – Danny because he’s in form and Kristoffer, well, because he has buckets of talent and is young and so darn exciting. It should be mentioned that Elliott is pretty gutted Sang-Moon Bae’s not on the EPGA Tour – he backs him whenever and wherever he can!

Here’s hoping to a successful #TeamCallaway weekend!

We’ll check back in on Monday and let you know whose picks came out on top. To learn more about our Staff Pros and the equipment they’re playing, please visit our Callaway Tour page.

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