Rory McIlroy © Gallo Images
Rory McIlroy, the world’s No 3 golfer and this year’s US Open champion, on Saturday said he cannot see the possibility of an Asian major.
The 22-year-old Northern Irishman, who won his first major in June, said golf was a very traditional game and it would be extremely difficult to break that tradition.
Speaking in Macau ahead of the final leg of the Shui On Golf Challenge, he added that Asia already had some very big golf tournaments.
"To be honest, personally, I don’t see the possibility of a fifth major, or an Asian major, even though it would be great," he told reporters.
"Golf is a very traditional game. We do have the four major championships already.
"It would be great to see some of the big tournaments moved around the world… but I think because of how traditional it is, that would be a very tough thing to ask."
He said Asia had many big tournaments and he expected more in the coming years.
"That is great and hopefully it will help spread the game in this part of the world," he said.
Ian Poulter, competing alongside McIlroy, Lee Westwood and Liang Wenchong in China this week, echoed the Ulsterman’s comments.
The Englishman, last year’s winner of the Hong Kong Open, said the four majors – the US Masters, the US Open, the Open and the USPGA – were firmly cemented as the sport’s biggest prizes.
"The majors have been around for so many years. It would be difficult to take one of them somewhere else," he said.
The Shui On Land China Golf Challenge is an exhibition event in which the golfers play 18 holes in seven Chinese cities in seven days. It finishes on Sunday.
Poulter, number 23 in the world rankings, and McIlroy will return to China next month for the World Cup in Hainan.
Golf in Asia has been on the rise over the past few years and Asian players are making their mark on the game, leading some to argue that a major should take place in the region.
In 2009 Y.E. Yeng, from South Korea, became the first Asian man to win a major when he lifted the USPGA title.
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