Monty Says Europe Now Dominant Force in Golf

During an interview in Hong Kong, Colin Montgomerie said that Europe is now the dominant power in the world of golf. But the victorious Ryder Cup captain predicted that China could have its first No. 1 player within a decade.

Montgomerie made his comments while England's Lee Westwood is poised to overtake Tiger Woods as the top-rated player in the game. Martin Kaymer is also in position to wrest that title from Woods, who has held the top spot for the past 279 weeks. Both Westwood and Kaymer were on the European squad that took the Ryder Cup from the Americans at Celtic Manor in Wales in early October.

The Scot, whose European squad regained the Ryder Cup with its victory over the United States at Celtic Manor, said the biennial competition capped the continent's surge to the forefront of the game.

"We've always bowed to America's dominance in the world rankings," Montgomerie told reporters. "But we've had a fantastic year in Europe and that dominance is now changing. There is a changing of the guard towards Europe and also the European Tour."

The 47-year-old added that Asia will be a future force. When asked if a Chinese player could become the world's top-ranked player in the next 10 to 15 years, he said: "Definitely, definitely, I'll be surprised if there wasn't with the talent that could well be found.

"There's no question, with the work ethic here," added Montgomerie, speaking at Clearwater Bay Golf & Country Club for the annual HSBC Champions Charity Golf Day.

"We've seen how hard the Koreans work and practice, especially in the ladies' game. The work ethic here is great. We've got a Korean major winner (Yang Yong-Eun - known in America as Y.E. Yang, who won the 2009 PGA Championship) and a Chinese will follow suit, definitely."

Montgomerie hedged his remarks by saying that Woods won't easily give up his top ranking, which he's held for five years. "Tiger Woods won't like being number two at anything and he will come out fighting."