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Lee Westwood can be the Master, says Montgomerie

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.

“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,” said 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.”

Belfast Telegraph