AUGUSTA, GA (WTOC) - The practice rounds are over at Augusta National, and next up, the 82nd Masters Tournament will begin with seemingly as many possibilities as ever for the season's first major championship.
It's shaping up to be a classic Masters - one being called perhaps the most anticipated in our lifetime - with more of the world's top players coming to Augusta in top form than in any time in recent memory. It's a storyline made even richer with Tiger Woods healthy again and playing well.
Tiger is actually the betting favorite at 10-1, but has been joined there by past champion Jordan Spieth, who regained form in Houston last week. Two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson is also playing well again with two wins already this season. That's the same number as world No. 2 and the hottest player in golf - Justin Thomas. Rory McIlroy seems poised to complete the career grand slam having worked out putting issues, and Dustin Johnson, the top-ranked player in the world, can't be left off any list of favorites - especially one as long as Masters patrons are making this week.
"It's got to be Tiger at this point, playing so well," said Jason Korner, Masters Patron. "He knows the course. If he's going to win another major, it's going to be the Masters."
"I think Jordan Spieth, after Houston last week, has a good chance, in my opinion," said Masters patron, Doug Nally.
"Probably Bubba," said Masters patron, Alastair Taylor. "Showed great form winning a couple weeks ago. Great record around here, has won a couple of times, been close. Hits it miles, high, soft. My money's on him."
"It's got to be Rickie Fowler; all these top tens this season," said Masters patron, Colby Walters. "He's struggling a little bit on the weekend, but I think he's going to come to play."
Favorite this week? Dustin Johnson is pretty tough to bet against. He's got the length. He's a great player. However, Tiger is getting a lot of talk, but we'll see if he can keep up. We'll see, starting Thursday, the first round of what is looking like a classic Masters - and it will be if even half of those players are still being talked about come Sunday afternoon.