The Masters: Battle begins for the green jacket

Tiger Woods tees off on the 14th hole
Tiger Woods tees off on the 14th hole during a practice round for the Masters golf tournament, April 4, 2012, in Augusta, Ga.
AP Photo/David J. Phillip

(CBS News) AUGUSTA, Ga. - The Masters, the most famous tournament in golf, got underway Thursday in Augusta.

On "CBS This Morning" Thursday, Jim Nantz, host of CBS Sports Masters coverage, offered his thoughts on what can to expect this year from golfers Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson.

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Though Tiger Woods hasn't won a major championship since 2008, Nantz thinks he has a great opportunity to win the tournament. "I think he's more primed, more confident right now," Nantz said. "His game is more... where it needs to be."

But Woods is not the only one with his game in top shape. Nantz believes Rory McIllroy, the 22-year-old reigning U.S. champion, has the potential to take golf by the reins and be the dominant player for the next ten years.

McIlroy led last year's tournament through 54 holes and was four shots up, until a late meltdown blew his changes. "The way he conducted himself after that really, horrific final day, was still so gracious," Nantz said. "This kid is the next great thing."

Phil Mickelson won the Masters in 2004, 2006 and 2010. Despite the fact that his tee time for opening day is 2:30 PM, he was up early to see the Honorary Starters Ceremony.

"This tells me a lot about Phil Mickelson," Nantz said. "He was there to see the first shot -- the appreciation he has for the men who really popularized this sport around the world. I thought it was a neat thing."

CBS will have the final two rounds of the Masters, live from Augusta National. CBS Sports coverage begins at 3:30, eastern time on Saturday and Sunday.