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Masters Countdown: Ranking the chances of the Englishmen

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Can Justin Rose win Augusta? (Getty Images)
Can Justin Rose win Augusta? (Getty Images)

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It's been since 1996 that England put its collective arms through a jacket that was green. That was the year Nick Faldo took home his third and final Masters title -- he's the only golfer from England to ever win the Masters.

That's pretty crazy when you think about it.

It seems odd but when you look at the major landscape as a whole it's actually not. Since that Masters in 1996 there have been 71 majors, exactly one of them has been won by somebody from England -- and that would be Justin Rose in the 2013 US Open.

There have been close calls, too.

Paul Casey finished T6 in 2004 behind Phil Mickelson. Three Englishmen finished inside the top 10 in 2007 -- Justin Rose, Luke Donald, and Casey. Lee Westwood finished second behind Mickelson in 2010, just three back of Lefty. Donald had a T4 in 2011. Westwood had a T3 in 2012 and Poulter backed him up with a seventh place finish. Heck, just last year Westwood finished T8.

But nobody has won it since Faldo in 1996.

This year England will send seven golfers to north Georgia. Let's rank them based on who I think has the best chance to win (Vegas odds in parentheses).

1. Justin Rose (odds: 25-1) -- I think Rose has more majors in him over the course of the next 10 years. His best finish at this tournament was a T5 in 2007. He hits it beautifully so it will just come down to whether or not he's rolling it well on the greens. It could happen but I'm not betting on it.

2. Ian Poulter (odds: 50-1) -- Two top 10s in the last four years. He certainly has the stones to close out a second nine on Sunday, I just don't know if he can get it to there.

3. Lee Westwood (odds: 40-1) -- Westwood is probably the best value of anyone here at 40-1. Yes, he's been playing poorly this year but you can't ignore his history here. He's had five (five!) top 11 finishes in the last six years.

4. Luke Donald (odds: 50-1) -- Donald has had three top 10s here and rarely misses cuts but I just can't see him winning it. I can envision him hoisting the trophy at a more grueling tournament like one of the Opens.

5. David Lynn (odds: 250-1) -- Lynn was T4 after the first round in 2013 and T7 after the second. He went 80-72 on the weekend, though, to show he's not ready to tame Augusta quite yet.

6. Matthew Fitzpatrick (odds: N/A) -- The reigning US Amateur champion. Yeah, that's not happening.

7. Garrick Porteous (odds: N/A) -- The reigning British Amateur champion. See above.

I think Rose or Poulter has the best chance to end the 17-year drought for England despite Westwood's near misses here. Rose is clearly the best English player in the world right now and Poulter is probably crazy enough to not fold under that absurd Sunday pressure.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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