Everyone has an opinion on Tiger Woods but not many of us have played against him for decades. Colin Montgomerie might be 13 years Woods’ senior but he often had a front-row seat for the American’s heroics, most notably at Augusta in 1997 and St Andrews eight years later.
And it was at the Old Course where Monty believes that Woods should have drawn the curtain on his incredible career. Woods would only play nine competitive rounds this year and two of them came at The Open where he missed the cut.
Woods double-bogeyed the 1st hole, opened with a 78 and followed it with a 75 on Friday to miss the cut by bundles.
“That was the time. Stand on that bridge, start waving, and everyone goes, ‘So, is that it?’ Yeah, it is. It would have been a glorious way to go. The stands were full, the world’s TV cameras – from all continents – were on him, he’s walking up there on his own, tears were in his eyes, obviously, you can’t beat that walk,” the Scot told the Bunkered podcast.
“I’ve done it myself. When the stands are full, you cannot beat that walk. I tell you what, that is a special, special arena. It’s a theatre. That was the time for Tiger to say, ‘OK, I bow out.’ Why go on? Go out at the top. It’s something that very few can do.”
Woods currently stands on 82 PGA Tour victories, the same tally as Sam Snead, and Monty believes that he won’t win again. Woods missed his own event, the Hero World Challenge, with plantar fasciitis in his right foot before featuring in the 12-hole match with Rory McIlroy, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth, albeit in a cart.
This week he teamed up with his son, Charlie, in the PNC Championship, again from a cart which isn’t a possibility on tour.
“I don’t see him doing that (winning again),” Montgomerie added. “People will say, ‘Oh come on, Monty’. Listen, yes, he’s great. But Tiger doesn’t have to now just get back to the standard he was performing at then. He has to improve it. The standard is improving all the time and there’s not one or two guys that can beat him now. There’s 22 guys that can beat him. So, it’s Tiger trying to get not back to where he was but to get to a standard he’s never been at before and I don’t think that’s possible.
“I can’t see that happening. I’d love it to happen because it’s great for the game. I would love him to win. But I just can’t see it happening.”