Pro Picks: Waste Management Open

Jeff Newton

Pro Picks was on hiatus last week while our Marketing Zoo Crew made their way to the PGA Show in Orlando. The Zoo Crew did our #bringit motto proud and provided an incredible experience for golf fans in our Callaway Booth. Now the gang’s out having a blast at the Waste Management Open in Scottsdale.

Through the first two weeks of Pro Picks we’re actually in a four-way tie for first (and last if you want to get technical about it). After a tough performance in Week 1, Harry bounced back to take home the victory in Week 2; hence the logjam at the top of our leaderboard.

The standings after Week 2:

1st place (yes, all of us) . Jason Finley, Greg Sabella, Jeff Newton, Harry Arnett

One of us should pull ahead at the Waste Management, which sets up perfectly for our long-hitting Callaway staffers. We’ve got a good feeling about this week.

The Picks

Harry Arnett (SVP, Marketing)
Harry’s Picks
: J.B. Holmes, James Hahn, Phil Mickelson

After a week off last week from the picks, I’m back in full force this week. I would have picked Adam Hadwin to win last week since I had him to make 10 birdies in the Monday qualifier and he actually made 11. Kid’s a baller.

Okay, this week we’re at the Waste Management and the ZooCrew is actually AT the Waste Management, so I have a first hand account of who’s going to win this week. And there are a few things you should know about this event:

It’s a bomber’s course. Wide fairways, huge greens, and the ball travels for days in the desert.

There are a LOT of distractions inside and, more importantly, outside the ropes. You can’t spell “Scottsdale” without the “E-Y-E-C-A-N-D-Y” and when it warms up, oh boy. ZooCrew is on a short leash this week here, needless to say.

So the winner will be a guy that hits it a ton (fortunately, that seems to be the entire Callaway staff) and can keep it together between the ears (that would eliminate the ZooCrew if we were competing).

That being said, my Picks to Click (another royalty check in the mail for Hawk Harrelson) are….

– J.B. Holmes. How can you not pick a guy who hits it 9,000 yards on a venue where he’s already won twice? Well, you obviously can’t. So J.B. gets the pole position.

– James Hahn. Hits it great and lives in his own world (which we need to name, by the way. Ideas are “Hahnville,” “Hahntown,” and “Hahnton Abbey”). I stood behind him on the range on Tuesday and I don’t think he missed a shot for an hour.

Phil Mickelson. I kind of feel cheap picking Phil because he’s a threat to win every week so it’s no big feat to pick him and then watch him win. He’s never felt better about his game and if he can make some putts, Phil will be donning the conquistador helmet come Sunday pm. (and as an added good omen for Phil, I was able to spell “conquistador” on the first attempt!)

There they are! With JFin on the DL with pneumonia and Sabella running around Phoenix with his head on a swivel this week, could just be down to Jeff and me for this week’s coveted points…(Editor’s Note: Jason and Greg weren’t about to miss out on Pro Picks. They’re gamers.)


Greg Sabella (Trade Marketing Director)
Greg’s Picks: Mickelson, Nicolas Colsaerts, Tommy Gainey

Pick 1: Sticking with Phil this week, as he’s playing for the second week in a row in his backyard. Huge crowd support and a west coast monster.

Pick 2: The Belgian Bomber (aka Nicolas Colsaerts). Long hitters have thrived in the desert and he is longer than long hitters!

Pick 3:  2 Gloves.  He’s leading the bomb count by 10 and with cold desert temps, his warm hands will obviously give him an advantage over the field.  He also seems to play well where the palm trees grow.

Jason Finley (Marketing Director)
Jason’s Picks: Gary Woodland, Holmes, Mickelson

Pick #1 – With my first pick I will go with Woodland off his long drive victory (see our Facebook post for more details) and what really mattered most this week.

Pick #2 – With my second pick I am going with a proven winner at WMO with JB Holmes.

Pick #3 – With my third pick this week I will be counting on Phil to start his usual run around this time of year.

Jeff Newton

Jeff Newton (Tour Beat Writer)
Jeff’s Picks: Holmes, Colsaerts, Luke List

Pick #1 – Holmes
What else could you want from a Pro Pick? J.B. has won this event twice, hits the ball forever and will absolutely eat up the par-5s this week. He’ll ride his X Hot Pro Driver to a big finish (and maybe even a third win) on Sunday.

Pick #2 – Colsaerts
With the big bombs he hits, Colsaerts shouldn’t have more than a 9-iron into any of the par-4s (the same might even go for a few of the par-5s). The new Callaway staffer will put plenty of birdies on his scorecard.

Pick #3 – List
If we’re gonna pick all the bombers this week, then I have to take the longest driver on any of the six major Tours last year, Mr. Luke List. @sirdoublel was in the mix at Torrey Pines and should take advantage of his length with the calm conditions and wide landing areas. He’s finding his rhythm on the west coast and will get everyone’s attention in Scottsdale.

The Final Word 

On a week when the Marketing Zoo Crew is showcasing the explosive X Hot Driver, all four of us are picking big bombers to show up at one of the loudest venues on Tour. Keep an eye on J.B., The Belgian Bomber and Phil.

Before we go, we’d also like to give a big shout out to Gary Woodland for winning our long drive contest on Tuesday night (and the X Bomb Championship belt) with a 376.5 yard drive. That’s how it’s done!

For more info on X Hot, visit our home page or shop.callaway.



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