The Masters - Monty: Westwood will break Major duck at Masters
Victorious European Ryder Cup captain Colin Montgomerie has backed world number one Lee Westwood to land his first Major title at April's US Masters.
At this year's Masters, the Briton led heading into the final round only to be overhauled by a magnificent closing five-under-par 67 by American Phil Mickelson.
Westwood has finished in the top three in four of his last five Majors and on October 31 was confirmed as Europe's first number one since compatriot Nick Faldo in 1994 with many in the game believing his first major is just around the corner.
"With Westwood's success at the Masters this year, I think he'll win the first major of the year," Montgomerie said.
"Lee has been second or third on a number of occasions now, but I think the fact that the number one status has not affected him in any shape or form, in fact it has just increased his confidence, I feel that will run into a win in the Masters," the eight-times European Tour money list winner added.
The 37-year-old will have Tiger Woods to contend with however and Montgomerie felt the American would certainly win Major titles again despite his woes over the past 12 months.
"I know myself, from having a lean period between wins, that it's difficult to win again. Very rarely does Tiger get beaten in a playoff," Montgomerie said of Woods' near-miss at the American's own Chevron World Challenge on Sunday where he was beaten by Britain's US Open champion Graeme McDowell.
"I don't think he'll be as dominant again but I see him winning majors again," Montgomerie added regarding the 14-times Major champion's pursuit of Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 Majors.
Montgomerie also predicted a three-way tussle for the number one spot in 2011, a welcome change to the vice-like grip Woods had held over the top ranking position for over a decade.
"I would anticipate Westwood, (Germany's European Tour 2010 money-list winner Martin) Kaymer and Woods ... but in what order I don't know," the 47-year-old said with a smile.