Hey, it's Masters week. Welcome. If you just now started paying attention to the golf season, let me introduce you to the nine most-likely candidates to wear the green jacket next Sunday evening.

Like I noted in my intro to the 2016 Masters, we have no clue what's actually going to happen. But if I had to be my life on one of these nine winning or anyone else, I'm going with somebody out of this group. Why? Well, this Masters field is particularly loaded at the top.

Here's a look at my nine no particular order.

1. Rory McIlroy: He sort of feels overlooked, doesn't he? That's scary, isn't it?

2. Rickie Fowler: We have somehow gotten to the point where I trust Fowler more than I trust any of the other stars. I don't know why that is either. I just never feel nervous about the consistency of his game. 

3. Jason Day: The brawler and the favorite. He won't go quietly this year. 

4. Bubba Watson: My favorite to win. Last year, I though tthe Masters ran through Jordan Spieth. This year, I think it runs through Bubba.

5. Adam Scott: It's curious to me that Scott said recently he would still go back to the anchored putter if he was allowed to. He's playing quite well without it. 

6. Phil Mickelson: My pick. Get him to Sunday afternoon within two or three and see what happens. I'm hopeful he wears his aggressive colors every day this week

7. Jordan Spieth: Mixed it up a little bit in Houston on Sunday. That's a good sign for this being a classic Masters since he has somehow become the star I trust the least right now. 

8. Justin Rose: Solid form coming in. Top 15 here in four of his last five tries. 

9. Louis Oosthuizen: Surprisingly, Oosthuizen has not had a ton of success here outside of making the playoff with Watson back in 2012. But again, he's four strokes from having four major championships.

Of course, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed or Danny Willett could rise up and take this thing. Anything can happen when it comes to golf. But smart money is on one of these nine taking home the prize. It's extremely difficult to see someone breaking into this group given how historic its members are and how well they're all playing.

Keep an eye on Round 1, though. The tournament has been won there in the last 10 years. 

Rory McIlroy goes for the Slam. (USATSI)
Rory McIlroy goes for the Slam. (USATSI)