Hideki Matsuyama made history earlier this year by becoming the first Japanese man to win the US Masters, sparking wild celebrations in his native country and giving golf fans around the world a new favorite underdog to support. Matsuyama upset the odds and defied US Masters betting guides to claim the title with a final score of 10 under par.
His victory meant that Japan became the 12th nation which has produced a golfer with a green jacket to his name. But which other countries are already on the list? And which one has more than double the number of wins than all the rest of them put together? Let’s take a look at the history of this illustrious tournament to find out.
Stars and stripes lead the way
As a tournament which has “US” in the title – and in a sport dominated by American golfers – it should come as no surprise that the United States are comfortably ahead of the chasing pack. The nation has produced no less than 38 different winners with a combined total of 62 green jackets between them – which is quite an impressive tally by anyone’s standards.
Indeed, six of the top eight golfers (as ranked by the number of US Masters’ titles they’ve won) are from the USA. The legendary Jack Nicklaus leads the way with six wins, followed by Tiger Woods on five and Arnold Palmer on four. Jimmy Demaret, Sam Snead and Phil Mickelson are the other Americans with more than two victories to their name.
The best of the rest
While the US are comfortably out in front of all other nations, Spain and South Africa supply their stiffest competition with five titles from three separate winners apiece. For the Iberian country, Seve Ballesteros and José María Olazábal have two trophies each, while Sergio Garcia has one. Gary Player has three for South Africa, with his compatriots Trevor Immelman and Charl Schwartzel completing the set.
Next in the pecking order comes England, who have amassed a total of four titles from two players. 90s legend Nick Faldo accounts for three of those, with Danny Willett donning the green jacket most recently in 2016. Germany is the only other nation to have produced a Masters-winning player on more than one occasion, with Bernard Langer picking up both of their wins eight years apart.
Single honors only
After that, there are seven other countries who have had a citizen win at Augusta in the past. Argentina, Australia, Canada, Fiji, Japan, Scotland and Wales are the nations in question, with Matsuyama joining Ángel Cabrera, Adam Scott, Mike Weir, Vijay Singh, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam on the roll call of Masters winners.
That means that the US have garnered well over double the number of Masters trophies of all other nations combined (62 to 23), illustrating in no uncertain terms their dominance of the sport. However, seven of the last 14 winners have not been American, showing that perhaps the playing field is becoming slightly more level as the sport’s appeal reaches further and wider than ever before.
Matsuyama has shown that it’s possible to break the American dominance of the US Masters – will a new player from another nation claim the green jacket next time?