The Masters is the most exciting event in the golf year. Even though the season is young and this is the first major tournament, there is nothing quite like Sunday at Augusta.
There are many other golfers playing at a high level that feel they have a chance this weekend, including Phil Mickelson, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell and Justin Rose.
Winning at Augusta National is a difficult task that takes skill, knowledge of the course and a little bit of luck. Here are my smartest picks to win the green jacket this weekend and their odds from Vegas Insider.
Graeme McDowell probably isn’t at the top of too many experts’ Masters picks. The 33-year-old won the 2010 U.S. Open but hasn’t accomplished too much after that.
He has, however, started out 2013 well with three top-10 finishes in his last four events.
McDowell has also proven to rise to the occasion for Major tournaments. Last season, he finished in the Top 10 in two of them, while coming in 11th in the PGA Championship and 12th in the Masters.
If he can put it together for a weekend, McDowell has a shot.
Bubba Watson had a great year in 2012 that included seven top-10 finishes, including a win at the Masters. The defending champ will be looking to recreate the magic that led him past Louis Oosthuizen last year in a playoff at Augusta.
If the big-hitting Watson can be accurate with his driver this weekend, look for him to compete again for the green jacket.
Bubba’s shown that he’s a great golfer that has as much swagger as anyone on tour. With the motivation of defending the title, I see Watson at the top of the leaderboard.
Phil Mickelson is one of the most successful golfers at Augusta National Golf Course. He’s won the event three times already and will try to snag his fifth overall major on Sunday.
When Lefty is on his game, there are few that compare to his skill and composure. Last year he played with this confidence and nearly took home another jacket, finishing third.
Mickelson already has a win in 2013 at the Phoenix Open, so if he can continue his quality play he’ll be in the mix.
Rory McIlroy had a good 2012 season resulting in a PGA Championship and the world No. 1 ranking for a period of time.
Like many of the guys on this list, when McIlroy is playing at a top level, he is very hard to beat.
Rory is currently ranked second in the world golf rankings only because of the recent surge by Tiger Woods.
McIlroy has solidified himself as a great golfer, but he’ll need to win more majors to be remembered with the likes of Woods, Palmer and Nicklaus.
How many times in the past two years have we asked if Tiger Woods is back? He’s reclaimed his top spot among the world’s best in the rankings, but he’ll be able to prove his worth by winning another Masters title.
Woods has looked just about unstoppable this year winning three times already. He seems to have good health, along with a clear head that is helping him produce on the golf course.
Even though he has not won a major championship since 2008, Tiger is back and more ready than ever to take a step toward reaching Nicklaus’ record of 18.