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Colin Montgomerie believes Tiger Woods should have retired at St Andrews during The 150th Open this summer, calling it a “golden opportunity” to say goodbye to the game.

Appearing on this week’s edition of The bunkered Podcast, Montgomerie revealed that he – like many others – wondered if Woods might use the championship’s return to his favourite golf course on the planet to hang up his clubs.

The 15-time major champion resisted and intends to carry on playing for at least a while longer.

Montgomerie, though, believes he missed a trick by not bowing out in the game’s hometown, a place where he has won The Open twice previously.

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“That was the time,” said the Ryder Cup legend. “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 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, ‘Okay, I bow out.’

“Why go on? Go out at the top. It’s something that very few can do.

In a wide-ranging chat with The bunkered Podcast (available from Tuesday, December 13, on all good podcast platforms), Montgomerie added that he doesn’t believe Woods is capable of winning on the PGA Tour again.

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“I don’t see him doing that,” he said. “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.”

The bunkered Podcast is available to stream and download for free from Apple, Spotify and all good podcast platforms. Click here to listen now.

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael has also authored three books. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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