AUGUSTA, Ga. - So, whatever happened to the European invasion? Other than kicking U.S. butt every other year in the Ryder Cup, they have sort of been an endangered species of late. Which wasn't always the case.

Players from the continent, as they say, have never fared well in either the U.S. Open or PGA Championship. Almost to the point of being nonfactors. But the British Open and Masters were much more to their liking. At Augusta National, starting in 1980, Seve Ballesteos won twice. As did Bernhard Langer. Ditto Jose Maria Olazabal. Nick Faldo did it three times. Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam each slipped on a jacket once. In all, the title went to somebody from across the pond on 11 occasions in a span of two decades.

But it hasn't happened since 1999. In fact, no Euro has won any major since then, which is hard to do. Tiger Woods obviously has had a little something to do with that. Still . . .

At the moment, Henrik Stenson, who recently won the Match Play Championship that Tiger didn't, is the highest-ranked European in the world, at No. 6. He missed the cut last year at Augusta, in his Masters debut. There are six other Euros in the Top 25: Paddy Harrington (10), Luke Donald (11), Sergio Garcia (13), Paul Casey (14), David Howell (19) and Colin Montgomerie (22). As you might suspect, they've combined for zero major titles.

You can search for a reasonable explanation until you're blue in the face and come up empty. They come close sometimes. Which, of course, means nada. Yet whatever it is they're able to do when they come together as one every other September, the magic disappears when they're on their own.

The Masters, more than any other major, usually produces "name" winners. Sure, there's the occasional Larry Mize, but you get the idea. Of the last 25 winners at Augusta, only four have not won another major. And one of those is Mike Weir, who could. The others are Fred Couples, Woosman and Mize, who likely can't. That's probably why people like to watch so much. The layout is familiar, and so are the majority of faces on the leaderboard.

Last year, the highest Euro finisher was Olazabal, who tied for third. Amazingly, no Euro has even finished second since 1991. Donald, who was third, was the only Euro to finish in the top 10 in 2005.

Just another thing to keep in mind when you're taking your best shot in the office pool.

Did you know?

* Phil Mickelson played the four par 5s in 13-under, including birdies on all 4 days at Nos. 8 and 15. Ray Floyd is the only champion who played the par 5s better, going 14-under in 1976. Four other Masters champs played them in 13-under: Gene Sarazen (1935), Ralph Guldahl (1939), Jimmy Demeret (1950) and Tiger Woods (1997).

* Phil Mickelson played the four par 5s in 13-under, including birdies on all 4 days at Nos. 8 and 15. Ray Floyd is the only champion who played the par 5s better, going 14-under in 1976. Four other Masters champs played them in 13-under: Gene Sarazen (1935), Ralph Guldahl (1939), Jimmy Demeret (1950) and Tiger Woods (1997).

* Since the inaugural Masters in 1934, Mickelson (2004-06) is one of seven players who was able to win one of the modern majors in 3 consecutive years. The others: Ralph Guldahl (1937-39), Peter Thomson (1954-56), Arnold Palmer (1960-62), Jack Nicklaus (1965-67, 1970-73), Tom Watson (1980-83) and Tiger Woods (1999-2002).

* Last year, Mickelson became the fifth player to win the tournament before the Masters and then win at Augusta. The others: Ralph Guldahl (1939), Sam Snead (1949), Art Wall (1959) and Sandy Lyle (1988).

* The winner has come from the final pairing in each of the last 16 years.

* Ben Crenshaw was the last man to finish runner-up one year and win a green jacket the next. That was in 1983 and '84. The last man to win one April and finish second the next was Tom Watson, in 1977 and '78. *