Colin Montgomerie, the former Ryder cup captain, is suggesting that this week's Open Championship could very well produce the first European 1-2-3 since 1938.

In that far off year, golfer Reg Whitcombe beat Jimmy Adams by two and defending champion Henry Cotton by three on his way to victory at Royal Saint George's.

This year Irish golf ace Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood are Mongomerie's picks.

'At the end of the day it comes down to putting,' Montgomerie told ESPN. 'When Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson won their majors it's not because of power or whatever - it was because of short game and putting.

'I'm not saying Lee is weak at it, I'm just saying that Luke is extremely good at it. It's going to be interesting, but when you look at Luke's game, Lee's game and of course Rory's game I can easily see them finishing first, second and third. But that could be in any order - we'll just have to wait and see.'

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Montgomerie added that he has doubts about McIlroy's chances particularly as he continues to adjust to his new life as a major champion after the US Open. The Kent links does not play into the McIlroy's hands, Montgomerie added.

'Can McIlroy get the mental side out of the way? That's to be seen. And I think the course at Congressional suited him - out of 14 drives 11 went right to left - and the way it was soft suited him.

'I had 15 potential winners there, but at Royal Saint George's I reckon there are about 40 because of the nature of the course.'