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Joburg Open Bags

We’re back in South Africa this week, for the Joburg Open, held at the Royal Johannesburg & Kensington GC.

A big shout out and welcome to Neal Gladwin, who has been hand-picked this week to be our #XHotPicks Guest Pundit. Neal is one of our biggest fans on Twitter and an ardent supporter of the brand, so we thought it only right to reward him with a spot on this week’s panel. He’s (probably quite wisely) gone for two local players, as have most of our panel, thinking that home advantage might play its part, especially when walking down the 18th on Sunday. Remember, if our guest pundit comes out on top, they’ll win a great X Hot prize.

The Picks

Neal Gladwin (Maintenance Manager from Sheffield. Lover of all things Callaway for nearly 20 years; my wife of 4 months would say I’m slightly addicted to all aspects of golf. Hoping to get my 2 yr old girl on the LET one day, with me caddying of course.)
Neal’s picks: Branden Grace, Garth Mulroy, Danny Willett

Pick #1: Branden Grace
Got to pick the defending champion as I’m sure many others would. 3 top 10′s in his last 3 outings and averaging less than 28 putts per round so far this season.

Pick #2: Garth Mulroy
On a good run of form, South African and came 2nd here in 2011 including rounds of 65 and 64. I can’t ignore this guy when averaging 295 from the tee and a stroke average of 70.13 this season.

Pick #3: Danny Willett
Just pushing out the new Versa loving Marc Warren as my final pick, is the pro from my home town Danny Willett. Playing well this year, yes he missed the cut last week but seems to love this course – 4th twice and a 14th in the last 4 years show there’s something there for Danny. Top bloke and I would love him to get his 2nd win.

Dominic WarneDominic Warne (Senior Marketing Manager, EMEA)
Dom’s picks: Branden Grace, Garth Mulroy, Kristoffer Broberg.

Pick #1: Branden Grace
Grace should be the default pick for everyone this week. Form, course history, confidence. Enough said.

Pick #2: Garth Mulroy
He has been showing good form in his last few tournaments. On home turf, he should be poised for a top 10 at least.

Pick #3: Kristoffer Broberg
Broberg hasn’t come to life in the Desert Swing but was 2nd in South Africa several weeks back. His work ethic and talent will see great results.

Elliott PlattsElliott Platts (PR & Events – UK & Northern Europe)
Platts’ picks: Branden Grace, Marc Warren, Nick Dougherty.

Pick #1: Branden Grace
Need I say why?!

Pick #2: Marc Warren
The talented Scotsman shot two rounds of 67 on his way to finishing tied 17th in Dubai last week. He is already looking extremely comfortable with his new bag of Callaway equipment and after finishing tied 3rd at last year’s event I think he is set for a big week.

Pick #3: Nick Dougherty
I will speak for the whole Callaway team when saying there is nothing more than we’d love to see than a return to form by Nick. He still has the talent to perform on the biggest stage and if he could just put four rounds together in the same week then I believe his career would get back on track.

Mike ClarkMike Clark (Custom Fit Supervisor – Europe)
Mike’s picks: Branden Grace, Danny Willett, Kristoffer Broberg.

Pick #1: Branden Grace
How could you pass on Gracie this week?! Scene of the win that sparked his spectacular 2012 season, so I’m expecting at the very least a Top 5 performance.

Pick #2: Danny Willett
Looking at the field I think this could also be a solid week from Danny. Solid so far this year and another safe bet in my book.

Pick #3: Kristoffer Broberg
Back in South Africa again should bring back good memories for Kristoffer. Had a brilliant 3 place finish at Leopard creek that has given him the confidence of his card for 2014 already. So after a lack lustre Desert swing I’m sure he will bounce back this week.

Cameron de BuckCameron de Buck (Digital Marketing & Social Media – Europe)
Cam’s picks: Garth Mulroy, Emiliano Grillo, Marc Warren.

Pick #1: Garth Mulroy
The obvious choice for my #TeamCallaway Saffa pick would have been Grace, especially as he’s the defending champion. But Garth has been really solid the last few weeks, and the Durban-ite should be at ease on home soil. I’m hoping for at least a Top 10.

Pick #2: Emiliano Grillo
The young Argentine could almost be considered as my ‘outside pick’, but he’s been showing some promise of late. Plus some ‘inside info’ from our Tour Dept tells me he’s been striking it well and just needs to put four solid rounds together.

Pick #3: Marc Warren
Marc is settling in nicely with his new Callaway gear and his Odyssey Versa Putter. In fact, he was #1 in the Putting Stats last week in Dubai. Keep that kind of form up on the greens and he’ll definitely be in contention on Sunday.

The Final Word

A bit of a mixed bag this week, with the obvious exceptions of Grace and Mulroy – two home-grown talents who must both be amongst the bookies’ favourites.

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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