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It’s the last week of our internal Callaway X Hot Picks competition, and what a way to finish it off! Our picks for this week are for the first Major of the year, the most exclusive Major of the year and arguably the most exciting Major of the year.

Masters Hot Picks

#TeamCallaway Staff Players who will be driving down Magnolia Lane include 3-times Masters Champion Phil Mickelson, Open Champion Ernie Els, ’08 Masters Champion Trevor Immelman, Thomas Bjorn, Freddie Jacobson, Jim Furyk, Japanese sensation Ryo Ishikawa and Augusta debutantes Branden Grace and Nicolas Colsaerts.

Of course Callaway Icons and golfing legends Arnold Palmer and Gary Player will be amongst the Honorary Starters group, but we won’t be including them in our pick.

The Picks

Dominic WarneDominic Warne (Senior Marketing Manager, EMEA)
Dom’s picks: Phil Mickelson, Nicolas Colsaerts and Jim Furyk.

Pick #1: Phil Mickelson
I assume all 4 of us will pick Phil. For me it’s a question of what position he finishes in the Top 5.

Pick #2: Nicolas Colsaerts
The wise head inside me says never pick anyone on their Masters debut. However he’s had advice from Jack Nicklaus, his length should give him the scoring opportunities on the par 5s that make or break your score at Augusta, and when he putts well he’s unstoppable. I don’t predict a win, but I feel a debut top 10 is very possible.

Pick #3: Jim Furyk
Great week last week in Texas and he’s been getting more and more consistent at Augusta. He can grind, he can putt and he’s straight. Course length is slightly against him but I really think he’s going to have a great week.

Elliott PlattsElliott Platts (PR & Events – UK & Northern Europe)
Platts’ picks: Freddie Jacobson, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els.

Pick #1: Freddie Jacobson
I have tipped him up to just about everyone I know so I have to back him myself! He has 3 T-10’s this season, finished T-15 / T-16 the last two weeks, is a great putter and loves to draw the ball – which is a real advantage around Augusta. I really think that he has the game to be the surprise package of the week.

Pick #2: Phil Mickelson
Phil has won three Green Jackets, has enough Major Championship experience to last him a lifetime and has had a great to start to the 2013 season. He has been working on his strategy to take on the course for some weeks and in the X Hot ‘Phrankenwood’ prototype has found a club that will give him the perfect positions from the tee. Who would bet against him adding another Green Jacket to his wardrobe?!

Pick #3: Ernie Els
After missing last year’s Masters (his first since 1993) the four-time Major Champion and current Open Champion will be fired up. The Big Easy knows his way around the course, has finished second on two previous occasions and if he can putt well I think he will be right in the mix come Sunday afternoon.

Mike ClarkMike Clark (Custom Fit Supervisor – Europe)
Mike’s picks: Phil Mickelson, Nicolas Colsaerts and Branden Grace.

Right here are mine… going to be a great week I expect.

Pick #1: Phil Mickelson
Always in the mix at Augusta and with 3 Green Jackets already in the locker he knows how to win. Add in his new ‘Phrankenwood’ and I’m sure there will be plenty of excitement from Phil.

Pick #2: Nicolas Colsaerts
I’m going for the Belgian bomber as his enormous length of the tee will be a huge advantage around Augusta. A good putter as well he could easily be a surprise package this year & a good outside bet.

Pick #3: Branden Grace
Branden has yet to show any of his huge talent in the Majors but he knows how to win. Solid through the bag, he is another that I think could be a surprise in his debut Masters.

Cameron de BuckCameron de Buck (Digital Marketing & Social Media – Europe)
Cam’s picks: Ernie Els, Jim Furyk and Freddie Jacobson.

Pick #1: Ernie Els
I may be going more with heart than with mind on this one, but I can’t stress how much I want the Big Easy to win a Green Jacket. Always solid from tee to green, hungry for victory but more relaxed than in past years, if Big Ern has a hot Versa this week, it could be a lifetime of trips down Magnolia Lane for him.

Pick #2: Jim Furyk
A solid week last week as warm up to the Masters, Jim is nearly always in contention for the big events. By most players’ standards, he had a stellar year last year, so although he came close many times, I’m hoping it gives him good vibes rather than bad.

Pick #3: Freddie Jacobson
Freddie J seems to be the sleeper pick amongst those in the know, both within the Tour Dept and the media gathered in Georgia. Good memories and positive thoughts should see him fighting for the Butler Cabin presentation ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

The Final Word

Will Phil’s Phrankenwood be the trump card that gets him his 4th Green Jacket. Can Ernie light up the greens to grab his first and definitely deserved victory at Augusta. Or will it be a Major fisrt for some of the old guard, or an amazing debut victory for the young South African or Belgian Bomber. Only four rounds of exciting, dramatic golf will tell…

In the meantime, here is the penultimate scoreboard going into the final internal X Hot Picks Challenge…

 

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 after the Masters, there are some great prizes to be won. More to follow in the next few weeks…

Check out the official Masters 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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