Montgomerie: Tiger Woods may never win again
Colin Montgomerie is not convinced that Tiger Woods will ever win a golf tournament again, as he suggested his hopes of claiming his 15th Major title may never become reality.
Woods is set to launch yet another comeback as he returns to action in the first Major of the season at The Masters this week, with Montgomierie telling sundayworld.com that the four-time champion in the event is far from assured of being crowded a winner again.
The former world No.1 has not won a PGA Tour event since the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in 2013, with Montgomerie wondering what is left in the tank of the superstar who once dominated the game.
Woods made a late call to play in The Masters after a disastrous start to his 2015 season and has declared his intention to try and win his fifth Masters green jacket, but Montgomerie questions whether that can become a reality.
“If there is one thing that is definite in sport, it is that nothing lasts forever and I just don’t know whether Tiger can keep coming back time and again and remain competitive,” says Montgomerie.
“Will he ever win a Major again? Hey, he may never win a tournament again. That is not to say I want to see him struggle and fail because that is not the case at all. There’s no question about that, he’s a marketing dream, he’s been good for us all within the game of golf, and we hope that he can contend.
“There is a buzz missing around the game when he is not there. He creates a special electricity, but it is not good for the game when we see him turning up, shooting around of 75, 76, saying he’s hurt his back, and going home. That would be a disaster for everybody.
“He’s only playing because he thinks he can contend. There’s no way he’s playing to make up the numbers. So it will be very interesting to see how it all pans out.”
Montgomerie suggestions that stranglehold Woods had over his rivals a decade ago will never been repeated in a sport that has moved up a couple of levels with the emergence of star names like Rory McIlroy.
“I don’t think we’ll ever see the dominance that Tiger had when he was in his prime,” states Monty. “The golf that was played and the way that it was done, in winning these Majors by eight and 15 shots, it was just incredible stuff.
“What is working against Tiger now in 2015 is that the standard of golf now is incredible.
"So Tiger hasn’t got to get back to the levels he was at, he has to get back, or forward to the levels that have now been put in place by the number one player in the world.
“And that’s difficult, to keep on improving, now Tiger is nearing 40 it is very difficult to keep on, not just getting back to where he was when he was dominant, but getting forward to go forward again and again. Because that’s what he’s got to do, and it won’t be easy for him, he knows that.”
Montgomerie (below) has backed McIlroy to claim his first Masters green jacket this week if he can handle the pressure of expectations that are on his shoulders heading into the event, with the former European Ryder Cup captain suggesting there are a host of names waiting in the wings if the Irishman is not at his best.
“There is obviously a hell of a lot of pressure on Rory and there’s a lot of pressure on him and there’s a lot of good golf right behind him,” added Montgomerie.
“Jordan Spieth I think is a potential winner, remember he walked off that seventh green last year on the final day two shots ahead with eleven holes to go, so he knows his way around. He’s very confident.
“There’s also some great ball strikers around. Adam Scott is back with his long putter, you think that might be just what he needs to gain some confidence coming back there.
“Bubba Watson knows his way around, Dustin Johnson, now he’s back again, and someone that’s a power hitter. And that’s not forgetting Henrik Stenson either because I think he’ll be challenging.
"He’s playing the golf of his life, number two in the world, and he’s right on Rory’s tail.”
Colin Montgomerie will be at The Masters in Augusta commentating for Sky Sports, which has live coverage of all four days.