Callaway and Odyssey represented in a big way at the Sony Open, with plenty of top-10 finishes and spectacular shots to go around. The X Hot Pro Driver, Versa Putters and X Forged Irons all made an impact at a course that yielded low scores throughout the week. Meanwhile, our European staffers posted big finishes at the Volvo Golf Champions.
Stuard (X Hot Pro Driver) and Kirk (X Forged Irons) Finish T5 At Sony
New Callaway staffers Brain Stuard and Chris Kirk both finished T5 at the Sony Open with new equipment in their bags. Stuard used a new X Hot Pro Driver (9.5°) to finish T1 in the field in driving accuracy. He also played a RAZR Fit Xtreme 3-Wood and Metal-X #7 Putter, and shot 66-68-65-65 for the week.
Kirk went with the new X Forged Irons, a move that led to rounds of 68-62-68-66. He told our Tour Staff that “the sole of these irons is the main reason I’m playing them.” Kirk said that he loves the look and feel of X Forged, plus the long irons fly higher and farther than his previous blades. With these new irons, Chris can keep his club lengths uniform, which he told our Tour Reps he prefers.
Kirk showed how excited he was about his performance in a quick Tweet on Monday morning. “Not a bad first week with my new @CallawayGolf sticks,” he said, er, tweeted. “Hopefully the first of many!” Kirk is drawing a lot of attention here at Callaway Headquarters (more on that in a bit) and we expect his name to pop up even more during the West Coast Swing.
Versa Highlights Huge Week For Odyssey
Odyssey’s new Versa Putters delivered a big opening weekend at the Sony Open with two top-10 finishes and great support from Tour players. Versa’s strong showing highlighted an event where five of the top-10 carried an Odyssey Putter. Here’s a breakdown of the final leaderboard:
We couldn’t be happier with the initial performance and popularity for Versa. These putters are for real!
European Tour: Jaidee One Of Five Staffers In Top-10
Thongchai Jaidee posted rounds of 65-68-73-68 to finish T3 at the Volvo Golf Champions; his first event of the year. Jaidee used a HEX Black Tour Ball during the week and was one of five Callaway staffers to finish T9 or better. Danny Willett (T5), Branden Grace (T7), Thomas Bjorn (T9) and new Staff Pro Nicolas Colsaerts (T9) were the other high finishers.
Grace, a four-time winner on the European Tour last year, carried new X Forged Irons and Thomas Bjorn played a RAZR Fit Xtreme 3-wood. Both men played a HEX Black Tour Ball to post their high finishes. Colsaerts and Willett both used Callaway Irons to rank T3 in greens in regulation at 76.4%.
Colsaerts, Gainey Bust Out The Big Bombs
New Callaway staffer Nicolas Colsaerts led the European Tour in driving distance last year at a cool 318.6 yards per drive, and you’ll be amazed by some of his numbers at the Volvo Golf Champions. Colsaerts’ first official drive as a Callaway Staff Pro was a 403 yard bomb!
Then later in the day, he unleashed a drive that went, oh, just 419 yards!! Ernie Els played alongside Nicolas and said, “I’ve been coming here since 1986 and I’ve never seen a ball there – nobody has.” You can see why we’re excited to have Nicolas on our team.
Over in Hawaii, Tommy Gainey averaged 304.3 yards per drive with his X Hot Driver (10.5°) and HEX Black Tour Ball. “Two Gloves” finished 4th in driving accuracy and 10th in driving distance at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions the week before and from everything we’ve heard he absolutely loves his new gamer. The X Hot Driver is available starting January 25.
New Staffer Hahn Puts In X Hot Pro Driver
During the days leading up to the Sony Open, new staffer James Hahn tested and put in play an 8.5° X Hot Pro Driver. Tour Reps worked with Hahn to square the face angle to precisely where his eye wanted it, and his ball flight during the test was perfect. He consistently hit his trajectory window with a slight draw on the range and went on to finish fifth in the field in driving distance at 310.5 yards per drive. We think he likes that driver, just a hunch.
Here’s a list of Callaway PGA Tour staffers who played the X Hot Pro Driver last weekend: Bobby Gates, Andres Gonzales, Hahn, Colt Knost, Danny Lee, Stuard and Aaron Watkins. Watkins and Luke List also played X Hot Pro 3-Woods.
Callaway Leads Irons, Fairway Woods Count At Volvo
Callaway dominated as the model count leader for irons, fairway woods and utility irons at the Volvo Golf Champions. As if that wasn’t enough, Odyssey led the putter count with 51.5% of the putters in play. That’s what we like to see!
Finley Wins First Callaway Pro Picks Of 2013
In our first edition of Callaway Pro Picks, our Marketing Director Jason Finley took home the win behind strong performances from Kirk and Lee. In his pre-tournament analysis, Finley said, “(Kirk’s) first week on #TeamCallaway will be successful with a great chance for the W.” Looks like someone did their homework, because Jason was right on the money!
This week offers a number of great picks as Phil Mickelson and new staffer Ryo Ishikawa are set to make their 2013 debuts. We can’t wait to see them out at the Humana Challenge. To learn more about all of our Staff Pros, please visit the Callaway Tour page.