Asia will soon hold all men’s Majors as well

Sam Torrance
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HISTORY was made at Hoylake on Sunday, when South Korea’s Jiyai Shin comfortably claimed her second Women’s British Open title by nine strokes.

It was Shin’s second British Open win in five years but of far greater significance was that it completed a landmark season for Asia’s golfers.

For the first time in a calendar year all four Majors on the women’s tour have been won by Asians, who have now won seven in succession.

And I believe it won’t be long until that situation is mirrored in the men’s game.

I took part in a coaching session with youngsters in China last year and was blown away by how good they were. All I could do when I got back was talk about how good they were. Eighteen of us senior pros took groups of three children aged seven, nine and 12. When I was using a six iron the 12-year-old girl in my party was using a five iron. The junior coaching programme there is extraordinary.

That’s the next generation but the current crop are already showing glimpses of the future, YE Yang coming from behind to beat Tiger Woods at the 2009 US PGA Championship being the best example.

Elsewhere, it was great to see Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano win the BMW Italian Open. He’s a player who hits the ball beautifully but has struggled with his short game.

His putting didn’t look great at the weekend but players that good sometimes fall into wins. If he gets his short game sorted many more titles will follow.

A heartwarming story was unfolding in his homeland, meanwhile, where Javier Ballesteros, son of the late Seve, won his biggest tournament yet at the amateur Madrid Open.

Lately I haven’t seen much of Javier, who has delayed turning pro while at university, but I have known him all of his life and I remember he used to spend hours practising alongside his dad. I’m delighted he’s doing well.

Finally the Ryder Cup is very nearly upon us and I’m feeling very positive about Europe’s chances. If you’d asked me six weeks ago I’d have fancied the Americans, but the late surges in form from Paul Lawrie, Sergio Garcia and of course Rory McIlroy mean I’m 100 per cent confident of victory for Jose Maria Olazabal’s men.

Sam Torrance OBE is a multiple Ryder Cup-winning golfer and media commentator. He has won 21 European Tour titles and sank the putt that clinched victory for Europe in the 1985 Ryder Cup. Follow him on Twitter @torrancesam