Everyone on the Marketing Zoo Crew (our self-appointed nickname) likes to talk a little trash, all of it in fun, when it comes to picking winners and players to watch on Tour. We love to compete and make big predictions here at Callaway Headquarters, so it only makes sense that we would blend the two into a new running event – The Callaway Pro Picks.
Every week, four of our Zoo Crew team members (Harry Arnett, Greg Sabella, Jason Finley and Jeff Newton) will pick three Callaway staffers they like and give their 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 with plenty of banter mixed in. We’re ready to get the show on the road, starting with this week’s Sony Open in Hawaii!
Pick #1 – Bobby Gates
My first pick is kind of a dark horse pick and it’s Bobby Gates. After seeing the specs on his gear, this dude swings freaking telephone poles. Which tells me two things: #1, I know he hits it a mile. #2, he wants to hit it straight. And at the Sony, it’s a tight, old fashioned golf course. And he’s from Texas. So he knows how to play in the wind if it blows. Wait, was that three reasons?
Pick #2 – Andres Gonzales
My second pick is Andres Gonzales. This is probably just wishful thinking since I have no data to support this one other than I so hope to see him get TV coverage on the weekend because he’s half man and half amazing and absolutely hilarious. Oh, and he’s got a bunch of game and he literally is playing the demo driver we had at a commercial shoot in November. Dude’s a baller.
Pick #3 – Luke List
My third pick is Luke List. Just as an FYI, I’m going to be picking @sirdoublel every week because I know he’s going to win this year at least once. Can’t believe I’m not going with T2G (Tommy “Two Gloves” Gainey) this week. But his day will come soon…
So Gates, Gonzales and List. Bank it.
Pick #1 – Sang Moon-Bae.
First, Moon is obviously skilled at playing in tropical weather after some dominant performances on the Asian Tour. He also had a good showing at Sony in 2012, and came close to winning last year, losing a playoff to the #1 player in the world at the time.
Pick #2 – Chris Kirk.
Bombs it off the tee and hits lots of greens which is a pretty good combination on any course. Clearly stoked to be with Callaway this year, tweeting his signing before we had a chance to announce it…solid.
Pick #3 – 2 Gloves.
He wears 2 Gloves and has his own logo! I could stop there, but he’s also bombing his X Hot Driver and had a GIR % of 90.74 last week. He probably would have won if it had kept raining. 2 Callaway Rain Gloves = 2 shots on the field. Rumor has it his clubs missed the plane from Maui, but he’s playing so well he might win with a bag of rentals.
Jason Finley (Marketing Director)
Jason’s Picks: Gainey, Kirk, Danny Lee
Pick #1 – Gainey
My first pick for the Sony Open is Tommy Gainey (T2G). Coming off a HOT start to the year with a T6 finish at the Tournament of Champions, Tommy and his X Hot Driver will have the best finish of any Callaway staffer this week. Bring It T2G!
Pick #2 – Kirk
Chris Kirk is my second pick for the week. He hits it long and straight and will handle the tight golf course well with his game and calm and cool attitude. His first week on #TeamCallaway will be successful with a great chance for a W.
Pick #3 – Danny Lee
My final pick for the week is Danny Lee with his X Hot Driver coming off a hot start to his season with a Monday Qualifier for the event. Danny will continue his early season momentum with his X Hot Driver.
Jeff Newton (Tour Beat Writer)
Jeff’s Picks: Gainey, Sang-Moon Bae, Aaron Watkins
Pick #1 – Gainey
Gainey’s already showed what he can do with his X Hot Driver at the Tournament of Champions, and he’ll benefit from another solid driving performance in Honolulu. Harry said it perfectly, this tight track always leads to one of the toughest driving weeks on Tour, and players who can find the fairway will have a big leg up on the field. I’m feeling a big week from Two Gloves!
Pick #2 – Sang-Moon Bae
Moon looked extremely comfortable on the West Coast last year and he’s ready to make the leap after a successful rookie season on Tour. He carded three rounds in the 60s at last year’s event and seems to like the course setup. If his putter gets hot, look out!
Pick #3 – Aaron Watkins
Watkins quietly pieced together a great 2012 season on the Web.com Tour and then earned his PGA Tour card through the gauntlet that is Q School. He’ll carry that momentum into the start of 2013, and run up a bunch of birdies at Waialae CC.
The Final Word
All four of us are really high on Gainey after his strong finish at Kapalua. Kirk has our attention as well, and don’t sleep on Sang-Moon Bae as he kicks off his second full season on the PGA Tour. We should be in for a fun weekend!
We’ll check back in on Monday and give a shout out to the Zoo Crew member who had the best picks of the week. To learn more about our Staff Pros and the equipment they’re playing, please visit our Callaway Tour Page.