Masters Favorites 2013: Power Ranking Top Hopefuls for Green Jacket

Richard LangfordCorrespondent IApril 3, 2013

ORLANDO, FL - MARCH 25:  Tiger Woods of the United States acknowledges the crowd at the par 4, 18th hole during the final round of the 2013 Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by Mastercard at Bay Hill Golf and Country Club on March 25, 2013 in Orlando, Florida.  (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)
David Cannon/Getty Images

Tiger Woods has to be considered the overwhelming favorite to win the 2013 Masters. He is far from a lock, but it isn't possible to make a viable argument for anyone else to be considered the top contender. 

At Bovada, on April 2, Woods is listed as a 5-2 favorite. The next closest is Rory McIlroy at 9-1. For the record, I think that is crazy. Rory has been far too inconsistent to have that low of odds. I will never count Rory out of a tournament, but I certainly am not going to bet on him with those odds at this year's Masters. 

Phil Mickelson checks in at third at Bovada at 11-1, followed by Brandt Snedeker, Charl Schwartzel and Justin Rose, who are all at 18-1.

My power rankings are close to the odds, but they certainly aren't the same. 


No. 3: Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson has been up and down this year—so what else is new? He finished in 16th at the Houston Open, missed the cut at Bay Hill and finished in third at the Cadillac Championship in his last three times out.

And the simple fact of the matter is that when it comes to Lefty, it is almost useless to look at his previous performances to gauge how his next round is going to go. He is just unpredictably inconsistent.

All of that said, I won't count Phil out at the Masters until it is clear he can no longer compete at a top level.

Phil has won three green jackets, with the last coming in 2010. He loves Augusta and typically manages to play well there. For the most part, he has been solid with his putter, and he will have to be solid on the greens to contend here. I expect he will. 


No. 2: Justin Rose

Justin Rose has the game to excel at Augusta. He can boom it off the tee, and he's been on fire with his putter.

For his PGA year, Rose in ninth on the Tour in driving distance at just over 301 yards. Also, he has been in a groove with his putter.

While he finished second at Bay Hill, Rose had .516 strokes gained putting. Rose switched to a flat-blade putter and altered his stance recently and it is paying off big dividends. 

That second-place finish at Bay Hill capped off a successful Florida swing for Rose, where he also came in fourth at the Honda and eighth at the Cadillac Championship. 

He finished in eighth at Augusta last year and 11th the year before that. He is ready to improve on that mark this year. 


No. 1: Tiger Woods

In his last Tour event, Tiger Woods took a two-stroke lead into the final round at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and slammed the door shut on the field as he captured the title.

That was his third win in his four stroke-play Tour events of the year. 

Woods continues to struggle a bit with his driving accuracy. He is hitting just 55.8 percent of his fairways for the year. However, all the other areas of his game are clicking at a high level.

He has a 295-yard driving average and is hitting 67 percent of his greens in regulation. His distance control has been outstanding, and he is putting better than ever. 

Tiger has a strokes gained putting mark of 1.476. This is the best on the Tour and easily the best number he's posted in the category since it came into use in 2004. 

Woods is on a roll, and if he can keep his game off the tee from getting him into trouble, he will win his fifth green jacket.