Colin Montgomerie Says Tiger Woods Should Have Retired At St Andrews

The former World No.2 thinks the perfect time to bow out would have been after the 150th Open in July

Colin Montgomerie takes a shot at the 2022Charles Schwab Cup Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

After a stop-start 2022 that saw Tiger Woods play in three of the four Majors as he attempts to regain fitness following a car accident, the 15-time Major winner is ending the year with a flourish.

After playing alongside Rory McIlroy in The Match, Woods will also participate in this week’s PNC Championship with his son, Charlie. However, Colin Montgomerie thinks Woods’ appearance in the 150th Open at St Andrews in July would have been the perfect time for him to announce his retirement.

Guesting on the Bunkered podcast (opens in new tab), the former World No.2 said: “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.

“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.”

Tiger Woods waves to the crowd on the Swilcan Bridge during the second round of the2022 Open

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Woods surprised many by returning for April’s Masters at Augusta National. While he finished a creditable 47th in his comeback tournament, his injury struggles have been apparent throughout the year. In May’s PGA Championship, he withdrew after three rounds with his right leg, which he injured in the accident, bothering him. Then, after opting not to take part in the US Open, he missed the cut at St Andrews.

Woods had been due to play in the Hero World Challenge at the start of the month, but he had to withdraw due to developing plantar fasciitis in his right foot. He also struggled at times during the made-for-TV exhibition tournament at Pelican Golf Club.

Woods has admitted that future appearances are likely to be restricted largely to the Majors and, with few events in his future, Montgomerie also feels Woods won’t add to his 82 wins on the PGA Tour. He said: “I don’t see him doing that. 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.”

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Mike Hall

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.