Colin Montgomerie says Tiger Woods should have pulled out of The Open Championship in July because it was the perfect time for great golf to bow out.
The Open returns to Woods’ favorite course, the St. Andrews, where he won the event twice, and the golf legend took what was likely his final walk on the 18th on the Old Course in front of an adoring crowd.
It was only the 46-year-old’s third event competition this year after making a sensational comeback at the Masters, just 14 months since his horrific car crash in 2021, and making the cut at the PGA Championship .
Tiger Woods returns to St. Andrews in what will likely be his last event on the iconic course
Colin Montgomerie says the legend should stop at The Open in July
However, Montgomerie believes the 150th Open should not only be Woods’ third event this year but the final of his career.
Woods’ former rival said it was the perfect moment for the 15-time major champion to bring down the curtain on his glittering career.
‘That was the time,’ Montgomerie told golf website Bunkered. ‘Stand on that bridge, start waving, and everybody goes, “So, is that it?” Yes, it is. It is a glorious way to go.
‘The stands were full, the world’s TV cameras – from all continents – were on him, he was walking there alone, tears in his eyes, obviously, you can’t beat that walk .
Woods’ former rival said it was the perfect moment to bring down the curtain on his career
‘I did it myself. When the stands are full, you can’t beat that walk. … I tell you what, that’s a special, special arena. It’s a theater. That was the time for Tiger to say, “OK, I bow out.”
‘Why then? Go upstairs,’ added Montgomerie. ‘It’s something only a few can do.’
Woods missed the cut by nine shots at The Open but his walk down the infamous 18th fairway is still an iconic scene.
Woods raised his cap in recognition of the fans in an emotional scene on the 18th
At the end of his second round, while he did not stop at the famous Swilcan Bridge, he raised his cap in recognition of the fans and their standing ovation.
He declined to say whether this would be his last appearance in an Open Championship and speaking at the Hero World Challenge, he revealed that he intends to play in the majors next year and ‘maybe one or two more’ regular events, his legs
He was involved in a single-car crash in February 2021, which left him with serious injuries to his right leg and left doctors thinking it might need to be amputated, according to Woods.
He was in a single-car crash in February 2021, which left him with a serious injury to his leg
He made the cut at the Masters and the PGA Championship but was forced to withdraw from the latter after the third round as he struggled with his injuries.
Montgomerie, who finished second to Woods in the 2005 Open, said he doesn’t see the icon, who has 82 PGA tour wins to his name, claiming another victory.
I don’t see him doing that [winning again],’ said Montgomery. ‘People will say, “Oh there, Monty”. Listen, yes, he’s good. But Tiger doesn’t need to just go back to the standard he was doing before. He needs to improve it.
The 15-time major winner made his sensational comeback and made the cut at the Masters in April
‘The standard is improving all the time, and there aren’t one or two guys who can beat him now. There are 22 men who can beat him. So, Tiger is trying not to go back to where he was but to get to a standard that he’s never been to before and I don’t think that’s possible.
‘I don’t see that happening. I want this to happen because it’s good for the game. I want him to win. But I just don’t see it happening.’
Woods’ last win came at the 2019 Zozo Championship, where he tied Sam Snead’s record for all-time PGA Tour wins of 82.
He repeatedly asserted that he would not enter tournaments if he did not believe he had a chance to win.
Woods’ last win came at the 2019 Zozo Championship, where he tied the record for PGA Tour wins
Woods was also scheduled to play in the Hero World Challenge, an event he hosted in the Bahamas at the beginning of the month, but withdrew on Monday, citing plantar fasciitis.
However, he played alongside Rory McIlroy on Saturday when they faced Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas in The Match VII, before losing 3&2.
He is also set to tee it up at the PNC Championship this weekend with his son Charlie, 13, in their third appearance at the event.
Woods was approved to use a golf cart in both The Match and the PNC Championship.