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Hot Picks Qatar MasterSo Week One of the Callaway Hot Picks Challenge is under the belt, and with most of us picking Branden Grace, we could graciously call it a friendly tie. (And although two of Cameron’s three picks did finish in the Top 10, with Danny Willett in 23rd place, he can protest all he wants, but it’s still a tie! We’ll be more ruthless as the weeks progress.)

Week Two sees the EPGA Tour at the Doha GC for the Qatar Masters – good luck to all our punters and to #TeamCallaway.

The Picks

Dominic WarneDominic Warne (Senior Marketing Manager, EMEA)
Dom’s picks: Thomas Bjorn, Branden Grace, Thongchai Jaidee.

Pick #1: Thomas Bjorn
I will not deviate from gut feel and stats. Thomas loves the desert, won in Qatar 2 years ago as well as a top 10 in 2009.

Pick #2: Branden Grace
Great top 10 last week, and obviously is loving his new RAZR Fit Xtreme Driver. The form player in the stable

Pick #3: Thongchai Jaidee
Another form player. Had concerns about his performance in the desert, but proven wrong last week with a top 10. His 4th top 10 in 4 European Tour events.

Elliott PlattsElliott Platts (PR & Events – UK & Northern Europe)
Platts’ picks: Branden Grace, Alex Noren, Thongchai Jaidee.

Pick #1: Branden Grace
After a solid start to the season and closing with a superb 65 last week it won’t be long before the South African superstar gets his hands on another European Tour title.

Pick #2: Alex Noren
The Swede has the talent to be one of the best players in the world. I think that he will make the 2014 Ryder Cup team and am expecting some exciting finishes this season, starting in Qatar.

Pick #3: Thongchai Jaidee
Jaidee has had a great couple of weeks so far this season. As I sit on the beach in Ao Nang I just have a feeling that the talented Thai will have a birdie blitz over the weekend and I will be toasting a Chang with the locals on Sunday.

Mike ClarkMike Clark (Custom Fit Supervisor – Europe)
Mike’s picks: Kristoffer Broberg, Ernie Els, Pablo Larrazabal.

Pick #1: Kristoffer Broberg
I’m going to go with the wonder kid this week. Has a week of Desert ET golf under his belt so I think he may have settled in now.

Pick #2: Ernie Els
Going safe again with Ernie on a course that he has played well on before & that can be very windy.

Pick #3: Pablo Larrazabal
The Spaniard started the season well & he sounds very confident in his tweets. A streaky player that can easily win when he’s in the mood.

Cameron de BuckCameron de Buck (Digital Marketing & Social Media – Europe
Cam’s picks: Branden Grace, Ernie Els, Alex Noren.

Pick #1: Branden Grace
A fantastic final round in Abu Dhabi will give the talented South African loads of confidence, and we all now how well Gracie plays when he’s on form.

Pick #2: Ernie Els
The 2012 Open Champion enjoys the challenge of the wind, which often blows in Doha, plus he’ll have good memories of the course, after winning here on his first visit in 2005.

Pick #3: Alex Noren
I nearly went for the South African triple and contemplated picking Garth Mulroy, who’s been in good form, but have chosen to go for Alex Noren. The young Swede hits it pure and I have a feeling a good week is just around the corner. I hope it’s THIS corner!

Follow Michiel on Twitter GUEST PUNDIT:
Michiel Peetoom (Area Sales Manager)
Peetoom’s picks: Thongchai Jaidee, Alex Noren, Branden Grace.

Pick #1: Thongchai Jaidee
A steady performer and proven winner and now has a full bag of Callaway 2013 products.

Pick #2: Alex Noren
As the weather is cold here in Europe, I feel that a Scandinavian has to shine and on top of that, he will hit a lot of X Bombs with his new X Hot.

Pick #3: Branden Grace
My third pick has not won in 2013 yet. It is time. Also a young gun who is not afraid to go low.

The Final Word

We were nearly one pick short this week, with Elliott living the good life in the Far East on a well-earned holiday, but he got his picks in on time, as did our guest pundit Michiel, our Area Sales Manager in Central Europe.

There’s a bit more variation in our punts, although there seems to be a strong Scandinavian/South African theme running through the picks. With two #TeamCallaway staffers in the Top 10 in Abu Dhabi, we’re expecting another strong showing in the desert. It could be that the #XHot matches the heat of the Qatari sun…

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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