Monty backs Asians for Majors
Kuala Lumpur - Scottish great Colin Montgomerie has backed Asia to produce half-a-dozen Major-winners over the next 10 years as the region's golfers emerge from the shadows of the United States and Europe.
Montgomerie, an eight-time winner of the European order of merit, predicted a "massive geographical switch" with Asian players adding to their solitary Major so far, won by Y.E. Yang in 2009.
"We have four Major championships a year, so that's 40 Majors in the next 10 years," he said in a taped message to the Asia Pacific Golf Summit in Brunei, according to a press release from organisers on Tuesday.
"In that period, I'd expect six or seven of those championships to be won by Asian players, if not more. That's a massive geographical switch to the East."
Since South Korea's Yang held off Tiger Woods to claim a shock win at the US PGA Championship at Hazeltine in 2009, Asian players have yet to repeat the success.
But Montgomerie, a frequent visitor to Asia as a player and course-designer, said it was just a matter of time before more Asian golfers were regular winners of the sport's most coveted trophies.
"The quality of Asian golfers has improved tremendously in recent years and it's just a matter of time before we see more Major winners from Asia," he said.
Montgomerie sent the taped address after a foot injury stopped him travelling to the summit. The conference, involving 200 delegates, is part of a week of events in Brunei including the Royal Trophy team tournament, which starts on Friday.