Westwood wants a major in the east

Updated: Oct 10, 2011, 13:09 PM IST

Shanghai: World number two golfer Lee Westwood thinks men`s golf should create a new Major in the Asia-Pacific region.

The 38-year-old Englishman made the suggestion, despite being a supporter of the history behind the four events - The Masters, US Open, the Open Championship in Britain and the PGA Championship - that currently make up the highlights of the golf season.

"I like the tradition of the Majors. I think the men`s game has got it pretty much right, although I would like to see another Major somewhere else in the world. Somewhere like Asia or Australia," said Westwood, who will be playing in the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai in November.

The HSBC Champions was added to the World Golf Championships (WGC) schedule in 2009, the first time a WGC event had been staged outside the United States since 2006. Like many of the European golfers, Westwood fully supported that move and believes they should play an even bigger part in the growing internationalisation of the sport.

"The World Golf Championships should move around and encapsulate the whole world because it is in the title of the tournaments. They should be played by players from all over the world and be played all over the world. China is an emerging market for golf; there are so many courses being built, people taking up the sport and people getting interested in the sport," said the Nottinghamshire-born star who finished one shot short of adding a win in Shanghai to a record that includes wins everywhere from Australia, through Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Dubai as well as in golf`s traditional heartlands.

"I see the way that the Asian economy and markets have supported golf over the last few years and they deserve to have big tournaments there. Asian golf is getting bigger isn`t it? Asia seems to be one of the places that hasn`t been hit so hard by the financial crisis. Europe and America have been nailed really, so Asia`s going to be looking more healthy. Sponsors are more likely to want to put money into sporting events there because they have got it."

Westwood`s comments come after the LPGA was reported to have considered Asia as the location for the fifth Major they were creating this year, before eventually deciding to bestow the honour on the Evian Masters in France.

"Look how many good Asian ladies there are at the moment. They should have a Major in Asia. Every year you turn on the TV it is a Korean lady winning or that is how it seems," he added.

IANS