Monty tips Westy for Augusta glory
Colin Montgomerie is tipping World No. 1 Lee Westwood to win The Masters next April.
Colin Montgomerie is tipping Lee Westwood to win The Masters next April and with it complete an historic European Tour slam of the majors.
Graeme McDowell holds the US Open, Louis Oosthuizen the Open and Martin Kaymer the US PGA – a trend that Montgomerie sees continuing in 2011.
“I think Lee Westwood will win the first major of the year,” said Europe’s Ryder Cup captain at the launch of next May’s ‘Golf Live’ event at the London Club in Kent on Wednesday.
“Lee has been second or third on a number of occasions now, but the world number one status has just increased his confidence.
“It’s not affected him in any way, shape or form and with the end to the season he’s had I feel it will run into a win at The Masters.”
That prediction comes despite Montgomerie expecting Tiger Woods to bounce back from his winless 2010.
Hours after Westwood finished his season’s work on Sunday with an incredible eight-shot victory at the Nedbank Challenge in South Africa, Woods lost to McDowell in California after taking a four-stroke lead into the final round.
“It’s very rare that Tiger Woods is beaten in a play-off and you saw his face afterwards – he was upset and annoyed,” stated Montgomerie.
“I’m glad that it meant something to him and he wanted to win badly. All credit to Graeme, but it was good to see Tiger disappointed to that degree.
“It means the world of golf will be a bigger, better place with Tiger contending again.
“I don’t think you will see him as dominant again, but you will see him winning majors again and I’m still convinced he will get to 18 or possibly 19.”
Woods has 14 majors to his name, four short of Jack Nicklaus’ record, but the last of them was the 2008 US Open.
“I don’t think we will see him winning two or three a year and that’s down to the improvement of European players coming up to his level and at this stage overtaking him,” added Montgomerie.
“We’ve had unprecedented success this year – I don’t think we’ve ever had seven players in the world’s top 10 as is the case now.
“Even in the heady days of Faldo, Langer, Seve that never happened, so this is a superb time for European golf.
“It just so happens we are on a winning streak right now and we should be very proud of that. I wouldn’t say we are cocky in any way, we’re just proud of our achievements.
“Those who are cocky will be shot down, believe me. It’s very important that we don’t get that way, but instead sustain the good play we’ve achieved in 2010. I really think that’s going to happen.”
Westwood and McDowell are both on the short-list for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, with the Ulsterman’s Ryder Cup heroics and US Open victory making him one of the favourites.
Montgomerie could well be lifting the team of the year trophy the same night, the Ryder Cup side looking odds-on given that the Ashes series is still going on.
While McDowell grabbed the headlines at Celtic Manor Montgomerie also praised Ian Poulter, someone he has not always seen eye-to-eye with, for his display.
“Ian Poulter was absolutely amazing. If there is anybody ever made for the Ryder Cup it’s him.
“If he was 30th on the list you’d pick him. He promised me a point (in the singles) and he delivered me a point. He promised me this and that and he was absolutely superb.
“As a team member and as an individual, beating Matt Kuchar, it was a fantastic performance.”
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