European golf legend Colin Montgomerie believes Tiger Woods should've called time on his illustrious career when he was emotionally applauded by the St Andrews crowd at The 150th Open Championship.
Speaking exclusively to The bunkered Podcast, Montgomerie said Woods could've retired at the top of the game at the world's oldest major championship, despite missing the cut at the tournament.
When Woods crossed the Swilcan Bridge on that special Friday, he lifted his cap to the adoring crowd and was overcome by tears from the raucous cheers. Two of Woods' Open wins came at the home of golf.
Montgomerie, 59, knows how great the support of a home audience is. He came second behind Woods in the 2005 Championship on the Old Course. Unfortunately, it was another day when the Scotsman couldn't deliver on the major stage.
Woods participated in The Match last week and will tee it up at the PNC Championship this week, vowing to battle on despite visibly struggling with the injuries to his right leg from a car crash that now happened nearly two years ago.
"That was the time. Stand on that bridge, start waving, and everyone goes, ‘So, is that it?’ Yeah, it is," Montgomerie said.
"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 was 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."
Montgomerie also believes that Woods needs to raise his game even further than usual to compete with the best players on the PGA Tour. One more win would take him to 83, a record that would put him one ahead of Sam Snead.
At the Hero World Challenge, the 15-time major champion said he only plans to play in golf's four premier events and "maybe one or two more."
The 46-year-old had to withdraw from the event in the Bahamas with plantar fasciitis, which shows further injury setbacks are possible. The Genesis Invitational, which Woods hosts, could be his next stop in the new year in mid-February.
Woods will be using a cart in Orlando this week alongside his son Charlie. At last year's PNC Championship, the Woods duo came second behind John Daly and his son.