Augusta National is in pristine form, and the stage is set for the 2014 Masters.
This tournament tests the skills of even the highest-caliber golfers, as Amen Corner lies in wait to collect errant golf balls and shatter dreams of many contenders.
Nerves of steel are required to navigate this treacherous course, and possibly only a handful of players have what it takes to emerge victorious and don the coveted green jacket.
The world's top-ranked players aren't the only ones with something at stake this week, as sports betting and fantasy golf will provide a great deal of excitement for those partaking.
As you prepare to place your bets—or set your fantasy lineup—let's take a look at the tournament's current odds and project which players figure to get off to a hot start on Thursday.
|2014 Masters Odds: Top-10 Players|
The full tournament odds can be found on OddsShark.com.
Day 1 Predictions
|2014 Masters Notables: Projected Round 1 Results|
|Sean O'Donnell's Predictions|
Call it a hunch, but Jason Day should get off to a hot start at Augusta on Thursday. He was playing extremely well before suffering a thumb injury that took him out of action for a month.
Day has played in three events so far in 2014, finishing tied for second place at the Farmers Insurance Open and winning the World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Last year, Day finished third at Augusta and posted a 70 in Round 1. Expect him to better that number this time around.
Lee Westwood has 40-1 odds to win the Masters. That's incredibly low for a player who's flourished at Augusta many times before.
Westwood has earned three top-10 finishes in the past four years, including finishing tied for eighth place last year. He isn't playing his best golf at the moment, but Augusta is a familiar course to the world's No. 37, and he could easily right the ship this week.
Last year, Westwood began with a 70 at the Masters and will post a low number once again in 2014.
Adam Scott is looking to become just the fourth player ever to win back-to-back Masters tournaments. It's a daunting task, but if anyone can pull it off, it would be Scott.
Scott's already recorded two top-10 finishes and one third-place finish in five events in 2014. He's playing some great golf right now and should come close to duplicating his first-round 69 from 2013.
Phil Mickelson is a bit of a mystery right now due to his strained oblique suffered at the Valero Texas Open. Somehow, he was able to recover quickly and play in the Shell Houston Open, but he struggled toward the end of the week.
Could this be a sign of a sore muscle? Time will tell for Lefty, but he shouldn't have trouble finishing in the red on Thursday.
Rory McIlroy is another favorite to do well at the Masters this year. In six events played in 2014, McIlroy has recorded two top-10 finishes and two second-place finishes.
In his last tournament before the Masters—the Shell Houston Open—McIlroy surged up the leaderboard to finish tied for seventh after a round of 65 on Sunday.
McIlroy has gotten off to several hot starts this year; however, his inexperience at Augusta National—just five career starts—could prevent him from doing so here.
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