The quality of golf we’ve seen so far this year has been simply phenomenal. Clutch putts, amazing shots, and exciting playoff finishes are things we’ve just gotten used to this PGA Tour season. As if The Masters needed any extra excitement and anticipation, it appears the next generation of stars on tour have arrived and are poised to win now. So who will be in contention for the final round Sunday at Augusta National? Let’s take a look at some of the odds on favorites and who's been making headlines.

I’ve got to start with the guy who has been the most consistent player so far this year Jordan Spieth. According to, Spieth is 8 to 1 odds to win. It’s hard to find a hole in Jordan’s game. He’s about as clutch as they come on and around the green. He’s first in total putts per round and it seems like whenever he needs a big shot around the green, he always makes it (first playoff hole of the Shell Houston Open excluded). But I have my reservations on Spieth. While he has impressed this year and been in contention in almost every tournament he’s played, The Masters brings a different set of pressures and expectations than tournaments like the Valspar Championship (all due respect). I also worry about his demeanor at times. While being hard on himself and his game seems to motivate him, that could very well have a negative effect at a place like Augusta if things start to derail. I’d definitely pick him to show, but I don’t think it’s quite his time to bring home a major just yet.

Sharing the same odds as Jordan Spieth is current world number 1 Rory McIlroy. There was a stretch early this season on the European Tour where it looked like Rory may cement himself as the next overwhelmingly dominant player in the sport. With 3 consecutive finishes in the top 2, he looked unstoppable until he came Stateside. A slight swing flaw developed over the Florida trip, and he’s had to grind through it. Even with the flaw, he was able to salvage some good finishes at the Cadillac Championship (T9) and Arnie’s Place (T11). But Augusta sure isn’t the place to find your game. Couple that with the fact that Rory has quite a history there, and you start to wonder about his chances. Even if you disregard the epic collapse of 2011, Rory has always had the propensity to put up the big number at Augusta. With all of that said, I fully expect Rory to be right in the thick of things come Sunday. He’s just too good not to be. But I think history, whether his attempt to make it by completing his career slam or his demons from Masters past, will weigh heavy on Rory. Yet another player who’s a pick to show, but still not a winner.

What kind of Master’s prediction blog would this be if I didn’t mention Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods. Despite spotty play from Lefty and the absolute train wreck we’ve seen from Tiger this season, both are at an amazing 20 to 1 according to Lefty at least showed promise last week, with a tie for his best finish of the year at T17th. With how well Augusta sets up for lefties who can hit the power fade, and the fact that he has actually played competitively in the last month, I feel better about Phil than I do about Tiger. The fact that Tiger’s odds are as good as they are is simply amazing to me. Not having played a competitive round since his withdrawal at the Farmer’s Insurance Open, the only news we’ve heard about Tiger’s play is that he shot lights out recently playing worse ball. A practice round. That may be the most sensationalized practice round of all time. Making the cut will be a success for Tiger, and while I expect Lefty to be around on Sunday, I’d imagine he’ll be teeing off pretty early for the final round. This is a prediction I’d really like to be wrong about, golf is better when these two are in contention.

Now that I’ve stuck my neck out on who won’t be vying for the Green Jacket, let’s talk about who I think will. My pick to win the 2015 Masters is Dustin Johnson. The hiatus for Dustin seems to have been the best thing for him. Since his return to the tour, 4 of the 5 tournament results for Johnson are top 10’s, with one being his win at the Cadillac Championship. It’s not like distance has ever been a problem of his, but DJ is really beating the ball down the fairway this year. With an average driving distance of 318.8 he leads the PGA Tour. He also leads the tour in strokes gained from tee-to-green, a stat which is proving to be a true indicator of how a well a player is playing. Don’t believe me? Check the world golf rankings and where they are ranked in this statistic, it’s pretty telling (another blog for another time). But I digress. DJ may not be the favorite, but Vegas has him at 12 to 1 as of today, so I’m not the only one who thinks he has a chance.

Well those are my thoughts on the favorites this weekend at The Masters. I didn’t even get a chance to mention the feisty Patrick Reed or the defending champion Bubba Watson, but this blog may turn into a novel if I keep going. So I’m sure I missed your favorite player, let me know who they are and why you think they’ll come out on top this weekend.