Time is up for Tiger Woods in his bid to match Jack Nicklaus and win 18 majors.
Not only that, Colin Montgomerie believes that Woods must be honest with US skipper Tom Watson and sit out the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles if he feels he’s not ready.
Believing there is no longer enough time for Woods, 39 in December, to match or even beat the Golden Bear’s haul of major wins, Monty said: “I think he’s passed that timeframe, I really do."
Speaking before Woods withdrew injured in Akron last night, Montgomerie said: "The timeframe to win 19 majors was over the last two years, I said that on Sky Sports when I’ve been doing these things.
“I said this year is most important, he didn’t win and then I started about this year, he’s got to win and of course he hasn’t played really and he’s running out of time because the competition is less fearful, it’s better, it’s stronger, they want it more.
“And is Tiger getting any better? That’s the thing, Tiger has to get better from where he was to win 19 majors and I can’t see that improvement from where he was in the year 2000 which was damn near perfect.
“So to answer your question, I don’t think he is going to get to 19, he might get to 15, he might get to 16. Nineteen? Doubtful, doubtful.”
As for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, which is just 51 days away, Montgomerie believes that not only Woods but Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter must start to show form soon.
All three need wildcards and Montgomerie is concerned for all three.
On Westwood, he said: “The pressure’s on isn’t it? It is always difficult for people to perform when they have to.
“I really do hope he does because he has been a stalwart of that team and it would be a shame to have the Ryder Cup without him.”
As for Poulter, considered a certainty to get one of Paul McGinley’s three wildcards, Monty is unsure that the Englishman’s passion will be enough against the Americans if he’s not playing well.
“The Brazilians thought they could win the World Cup on, passion and emotion,” he said. “Well unfortunately they forgot to play football and Ian Poulter has certainly got the passion and the emotion, there’s no question, more than anyone but he has got to show a little bit of form for Paul McGinley to say, ‘Come in here.’”
Should Tom Watson hand Woods a wildcard? Montgomerie believes it will happen but there are conditions.
“America have had enough of losing this thing and they played the wildcard themselves in selecting Tom Watson to be captain,” he said.
“Tom Watson will not be sentimental in any pick, he’s got three picks and he won’t be sentimental in any of them. He has got to go to Tiger and say do you feel that you will help my team get to 14½ points?
“If Tiger Woods says yes to that, can you pick three guys ahead of him?
“Tiger has got to be very, very honest. If Tiger says to Tom Watson, please leave me out this time and I’ll be back in 2016, okay fine, that’s an honest statement.
“But if he does say I can help you, well then he’s got added pressure on him hasn’t he? Having to stand on that first tee and drill one down the middle, you know.
“He’s been number one I think every other time and then suddenly bingo, he needs a pick. But can you honestly see three guys getting picked ahead of him?
“ I can probably see one, if he’s not playing so good, maybe two at a real push. But three? No, you’ve got to include him I think.”
*** The U.S. PGA Championship and The 2014 Ryder Cup will both be live on Sky Sports.