Masters Countdown: No longer just America's event

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

Which nation will capture a green jacket this year? (USATSI)
Which nation will capture a green jacket this year? (USATSI)

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The Masters is just around the corner (13 days, to be exact) and we're pretty excited. There's plenty of golf to be played between now and then but not enough writing about Augusta. We're trying to rectify that by doing a Masters countdown every day until the ceremonial tee shot.

I'm reading the great Dan Jenkins collection of essays entitled Jenkins at the Majors. In it he looks at the difference in total majors won by Americans and by non-Americans throughout the decades.

Predictably the rest of the world has closed the gap on America as the game has grown into countries like Australia, South Africa, and others. And on a similar note it was America that started to close the gap on Britain at the turn of the 19th century.

But what about specifically at the Masters? Let's go back through the decades and take a look at what used to be a very, very American event.

1930s

America: 6
Rest of the world: 0

Only three non-Americans even finished in the top five in this entire decade.

1940s

America: 7
Rest of world: 0

Three of these tournaments were cancelled because of the war. Americans won the other seven.

1950s

America: 10
Rest of world: 0

Ok, this is getting a little bit ridiculous. Ben Hogan took two, Arnold Palmer won his first, and Sam Snead got Nos. 2-3 in this decade.

1960s

America: 9
Rest of world: 1

Wait, is that a...I think it's a non-American! Gary Player took home the green jacket in 1961 by one stroke over Palmer and an amateur named Charles Coe.

1970s

America: 8
Rest of world: 2

This should just say "Gary Player: 2." Player took the 1974 and 1978 editions of the Masters.

1980s

America: 5
Rest of world: 5

Now we're talking. Seve Ballesteros won in 1980 and 1983, Bernhard Langer in 1985, and Sandy Lyle and Nick Faldo closed out the decade with one each.

1990s

America: 4
Rest of world: 6

The decade of the non-Americans! Faldo again (twice), Langer again, Ian Woosnam, and Jose Maria Olazabal (twice). Only Fred Couples, Ben Crenshaw, Tiger Woods, and Mark O'Meara won it for America.

2000s

America: 6
Rest of world: 4

Order restored. Vijay Singh got it started in 2000 and Mike Weir continued it in 2003 but then only Angel Cabrera and Trevor Immelman were able to capture green jackets the rest of the decade.

2010s

America: 2
Rest of world: 2

A right-handed American hasn't won the Masters since 2007 and Zach Johnson is the only right-handed American not named Tiger Woods to do it since 1998. That's bonkers.

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

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