‘Why go on?’ Tiger Woods should have retired, says longtime rival

Tiger Woods waves his hat to fans as he walks across the Swilken Bridge on the 18th hole during the second round of The 150th Open Championship on The Old Course at St Andrews on July 15, 2022 in St. Andrews, Scotland.

Should this have been Tiger's farewell to pro golf?

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The Open Championship returned to his favorite course, where he had won the event twice. He worked so hard just to play. The moment was right for Tiger Woods to say goodbye to competitive golf.

At least that’s what Woods former rival Colin Montgomerie told the UK golf site Bunkered.

“That was the time,” Montgomerie said on The Bunkered Podcast. “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.

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“I was tearful playing with him in 2005 in the third round with the Scottish support. 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 missed the cut by nine strokes at the 150th Open at St. Andrews in July. At the end of the second round, he did not stop at the famed Swilcan Bridge but did remove his cap and acknowledge the crowd in one of the most moving moments of the year.

Woods declined to say it was the last time he would ever play an Open Championship and said last week at his Hero World Challenge he wants to play all four majors next year and “maybe one or two more” regular PGA Tour events.

He only managed to play in the Masters, PGA Championship and the Open in 2022 after sustaining serious injuries to his right leg in a February 2021 car crash. He was slated to play at the Hero two weeks ago but pulled out due to issues walking from plantar fasciitis. He played in last weekend’s The Match VII and will tee it up at the PNC Championship with his son Charlie this weekend. In the latter two events, he was/is approved to use a cart.

Montgomerie finished second to Woods at the 2005 Open Championship, also held at St. Andrews. He played in his final Open 11 years later, after advancing through Open qualifying to Royal Troon; he made the cut and finished 78th.

After all Woods injuries, Montgomerie said he doesn’t think Woods can win on the PGA Tour again. Woods’ last win came at the 2019 ZoZo Championship, which tied him with Sam Snead for the all-time PGA Tour record of 82 wins. Woods has repeatedly said he won’t enter tournaments if he doesn’t think he can win.

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“I don’t see him doing that,” Montgomerie said in an excerpt of the podcast, which will be released Tuesday. “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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