After a great stretch of tournaments it's finally time for the year's first major. We've seen big name winners in the early part of the year, Jordan, Rickie and DJ all picking up trophies, and we'd all love to see that trend continue here at Augusta National.
What's been interesting for me is the schedule leading in here, and who has got that scheduling right. The West Coast swing, WGCs, extra incentive to play Arnie's event at Bay Hill, it's tough to balance where to tee it up with so many strong events, and how to make sure you peak for the year's first major.
Gleneagles Ryder Cup star Jamie Donaldson was in the Sky Sports studio with me last week and he was talking up the merits of playing the week before a major. So many of the top guys like to, and in fact did at last week's Shell Houston Open. However, many of the big names missed the cut and with conditions softer in Houston than previous years due to the pre-tournament rain, how valuable was the experience?
Trevor Immelman and Angel Cabrera both missed the cut the week before winning The Masters, but it's a tough call to opt to play and then leave before the weekend, deflated ahead of the first big test of the year.
Spieth, Scott and Stenson all suffered an early exit in Houston and I was particularly concerned about Henrik. The big Swede had a poor week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and although not helped by a series of mud balls on day one in Texas I felt he needed a confidence boosting few days ahead of trying to secure his first top 10 or better at Augusta.
Spieth was a little concerning too and I'm still nervous about the scar tissue from last year, the constant questions about his 2016 meltdown continue to prove irksome for him and while I expect him to slip on more Green Jackets in the future, he's not my favourite to be champion this time around.
The weather forecast is awful for Wednesday with a lot of rain likely and wind will be a big factor on both Thursday and Friday. If so, a soft course will obviously play longer and very much play into the hands of the bigger hitters, right up DJ's and Rory's street.
DJ is the most favoured favourite in terms of a major for quite a while, and while he's hard to bet against, my main concern is has he peaked too early? His coach Butch Harmon believes he's got the Tiger intimidation factor at the moment, with his rivals knowing when he's on he's hard to live with.
Rory meanwhile, well everyone is saying he's undercooked, but is he!? There was a definite feeling around the ground today that everything could be playing into Rory's hands. Quite often McIlroy plays some of his best stuff when he's fresh and although he hasn't got the reps he originally wanted, that may prove to be an advantage.
Because of his lack of tournament time, and due to the amount of focus on Spieth and DJ, I think the Northern Irishman is really coming in under the radar. Paul McGinley, part of our Sky team this week, agrees and really likes his chances. Rory himself, said, "It's been nice preparation heading in, especially with less hype around."
So I'm picking Rory as the man most likely to win, or maybe DJ?! No Rory definitely, no wait, yes Rory! In terms of my actual selections though, I'm going each-way on the following picks, with Betfair paying six places.
If you're thinking of backing one of the favourites be sure to watch me talking with Betting.Betfair golf expert Steve Rawlings in the video below...
For all the latest Masters betting tips and previews, check out our dedicated category.