Casey ready to win a major – Monty

Colin Montgomerie believes Paul Casey, who has risen to number three in the world rankings, can win a major in 2009.

Colin Montgomerie believes Paul Casey can fulfill his “great potential” and and win a major in 2009.

The Englishman moved up to third spot in the world rankings following his one-shot victory in the BMW PGA Championship last month.

Casey’s success at Wentworth made him the first Brit to break into the top three since Montgomerie.

Nick Faldo, Sandy Lyle and Ian Woosnam are the only others to achieve the feat since the rankings began in 1986.

European captain Montgomerie admitted to Sky Sports News that he is not surprised by the rise of his former Ryder Cup team-mate.

“He’s always had great potential because of the length he can hit the ball,” Europe’s current Ryder Cup captain said ahead of he and Casey teeing off in the Wales Open on Thursday.

“If he can just get that putting right, which, if there is a weakness, that was it, he will be holing out well. Then he will win again.

“He’s risen very, very quickly – from the 20s at the start of the year. There’s an awful lot of talented players in Europe and he’s one (of them).”

Montgomerie now feels Casey can kick on and win one of the three remaining majors this year – starting with the US Open at Bethpage Black on June 18.

However, the Scot also feels there are several other leading European candidates heading for success – including Rory McIlroy.

“Paul is a potential Major winner,” Montgomerie enthused, “Especially now that Padraig Harrington has opened the door if you like, and said to the rest of Europe that ‘yes, it is possible’.

“There’s a (Sergio) Garcia waiting in the wings for a major. There’s a Paul Casey, there’s a (Henrik) Stenson, there’s a (Robert) Karlsson, there’s a (Lee) Westwood, there’s a (Rory) McIlory. There’s a number of them.

“The Open Championship coming up at Turnberry this year will be a fantastic event.”