Golf stars set to tee off for the US Masters 2013

The 2013 golf majors are about to kick off and the first stop, as always, is golf's most beautiful course, Augusta, Georgia, for the US Masters.

Golf US Masters 2013

Pic: AFP/Getty

The brainchild of Bobby Jones, the 'Augusta National Invitation Tournament' first took place in the spring of 1934, since when this glorious course has seen the brightest stars of the golfing world compete for the coveted Green Jacket.

But don't be fooled by the beauty of the fairways and flowers adorning the course - Augusta is famed for its lightning quick greens and tricky pin placements, and as one of the most demanding tournaments in the world, the Masters regularly provides some nailbiting competition.

This year, the first competitive round tees off on 11 April, and continues for four further rounds, culminating in the exciting final on Sunday 14 April. So who will don the famous jacket this year?

Last year, left-hander Bubba Watson sprung something of a surprise to take the title in a play-off thriller against South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen. However, the American failed to win again for the rest of the year, and a repeat performance looks a tough task.

Meanwhile, having failed to qualify or receive an invitation to play last year, Ernie Els will no doubt be teeing off with a gritty determination to make his mark, and Englishman Ian Poulter will be hoping to channel some of the fighting spirit he showed in Europe's astonishing Ryder Cup comeback in 2012.

Master putter Brandt Snedeker is looking like a serious contender for the event, having placed in the top five (including a win) in his five tournaments so far this year. And it would be foolish to dismiss the chances of Phil Mickelson who, with three Masters wins already under his belt, knows exactly what it takes to win at Augusta.

Of course, this year's Masters could fall to one of the two golfers currently sitting at the top of the official world rankings - Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods.

Despite having played only one tournament this year, McIlroy is likely to start co-favourite with Woods for the first major championship. Having failed to take advantage of his lead in the 2011 competition, the Irishman's game has improved considerably and this could be his year.

But it would be dangerous to write off Tiger Woods, who warmed up with a 17th World Golf Championship title at the Trump Doral Golf Club and Resort in March, and comes into the Masters with two wins already this year. A four-time winner of the title, he may well be primed for a fifth Green Jacket.

Who do you think will win this years Masters? Leave your comments below...