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Tiger's Streak*

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by heyabbott, Feb 16, 2007.

  1. heyabbott

    heyabbott Well-Known Member

    am I dbing this?

    Published: February 15, 2007

    If you’re a golfer and you lost your last tournament, are you on a winning streak?
    If you’re a golfer and you lost three of your last four tournaments, are you on a winning streak?

    If you’re a golfer and you lost four of your last six tournaments, are you on a winning streak?

    Of course not. Unless you’re a golfer named Tiger Woods.

    When Woods tees off next week in the Accenture Match Play Championship outside Tucson, he will be trying to win an eighth consecutive PGA Tour event in his bid to equal or surpass Byron Nelson’s record streak of 11 consecutive Tour victories in 1945.

    But a disclaimer is necessary.

    Nelson won the 11 consecutive PGA Tour events he entered that year. Woods’s seven consecutive PGA Tour victories last year and this year are scarred by losses in England, China, Japan and Dubai during that stretch, at tournaments that are not considered part of the Tour and are not included in its records.

    At best, Woods’s streak deserves an asterisk. At worst, it’s a phony.

    Including his major triumphs in the British Open and the P.G.A. Championship last year, Woods won five straight PGA Tour events, but then he lost in the first round of the HSBC World Match Play in England (a non-Tour event).

    He won a sixth Tour event, then finished second to Yong-Eun Yang of South Korea in the HSBC Champions tournament in China and also lost a sudden-death playoff to Padraig Harrington at the Dunlop Phoenix in Japan (both non-Tour events).

    He won a seventh Tour event (his first this year), the Buick Invitational near San Diego, last month but finished tied for third with Niclas Fasth behind Henrik Stenson and Ernie Els in the recent Dubai Desert Classic, another non-Tour event.

    He’s really won only 7 of his last 11 tournaments, but say this for Woods: As long ago as last September, he acknowledged that his streak had ended at 5.

    Asked about the streak before the American Express Championship in England, Woods told reporters, “That ended two weeks ago,” alluding to his 4-and-3 loss to Shaun Micheel at the World Match Play at Wentworth.

    When he won the AmEx for his sixth straight Tour victory, he said, “I lost two times” — including his so-so record in the Ryder Cup matches — “between my five in a row and now.” But he accepted the Tour’s version of the streak.

    “If you look at it,” he said, “I’m barely halfway there. What he” — Nelson — “did was absolutely remarkable, and I’m just thrilled I’ve been able to win six in a row twice.”

    At the end of 1999 and the beginning of 2000, Woods also won six consecutive PGA Tour events, but neither streak matched Nelson’s consistency in 1945, when the Tour did not include the Masters or the British Open because of World War II and did not always have a week-to-week schedule of 72-hole tournaments.


    Nelson’s streak began in Miami in March, then wound through Charlotte, Greensboro, Durham, Atlanta, Montreal, Philadelphia, Chicago (for the National Victory Open, a World War II substitute for the United States Open), Dayton (for the P.G.A. Championship), Chicago again and concluded in Toronto in August.

    For the year, Nelson won a record 18 tournaments.

    Equally impressive were his yearlong fourth-round average of 67.45 strokes and his margins of victory in the streak.

    In the Miami Four-Ball final, Nelson and Jug McSpaden routed Denny Shute and Sam Byrd, 8 and 6. At Charlotte he beat Sam Snead by 4 strokes in a 36-hole playoff. At Greensboro he won by 8, at Durham by 5, at Atlanta by 9, at Montreal by 10, at Philadelphia by 2, and at the Victory Open by 10 before he found himself 2 down to Mike Turnesa with 4 holes remaining in their 36-hole second-round match at the P.G.A. Championship.

    Nelson birdied the 33rd and 34th holes to draw even, eagled the 35th hole to go 1 up, and halved the final hole to win, 1 up.

    “How can you beat a guy like that?” Turnesa, who shot 68-69 that day, told reporters. “I never played better golf in my life.”

    Nelson went on to beat Byrd, once a Yankee outfielder, in the final, 4 and 3, then won the Tam O’Shanter Open in Chicago by 11 strokes and the Canadian Open in Toronto by 4. He then stopped at the 36-hole Spring Lake, N.J., Pro-Member, and won, defeating Snead and Herman Barron by a stroke, but as a non-Tour event, it didn’t extend the streak.

    Nelson’s record run finally ended at the Memphis Open, when he tied for fourth, two strokes behind Fred Haas Jr., an amateur.


    But during Nelson’s 11 consecutive victories, he never lost in England, China, Japan, Dubai or anywhere else. He won 11 tournaments in a row. Woods has won only 7 of his last 11.

    The PGA Tour prides itself on being the world’s best golf tour, but if Woods wins more easily here than he does elsewhere in the world, maybe it’s really not much better than the European, Australian or Asian tours.

    If the PGA Tour has any sense of reverence for what Byron Nelson did, it should at least put an asterisk on Tiger Woods’s streak.
  2. HejiraHenry

    HejiraHenry Well-Known Member

    Okay. Wouldn't this be like Florida having a winning streak in SEC games that might be "scarred by losses" to non-league foes?
  3. slappy4428

    slappy4428 Active Member

    It doesn't; it won't.

    Good column by Anderson
  4. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Nelson deserves an asterisk also, for counting a team format as an individual victory.

    Nelson also didn't have his streak interrupted by losses in Asia and Europe because those guys weren't playing overseas, except for possibly the British Open. At that time in history, many of them weren't even making that trip because it was still a long boat ride.

    And why is everyone putting so much stock into Tiger losing on the European Tour? Big deal. He's there for appearance money.

    For everyone's information, the PGA Tour is not promoting this as anything more than what it is: Woods is on a seven-tournament victory streak in PGA Tour events. They're not supposed to point that out?
  5. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Yes .... or a Major League pitcher ending the regular season on a 10-game winning streak, losing on a barnstorming trip to Japan, and having people say his streak is over.
  6. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    Everybody in Major League Baseball starts the 2007 season with a zero-game hitting streak, regardless of how they ended last season.

    You can keep a streak going forever if you throw in enough qualifiers (carry it over from 2006 . . . ignore Europe or Asia . . . only count tournaments sponsored by Buick).
  7. micropolitan guy

    micropolitan guy Well-Known Member

    BTE, not 100 percent certain but I think Jimmy Rollins' hitting streak carried over from 2005 to 2006.

  8. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    Dave Perkins in the Toronto Star says pretty much the same thing


    Woods has had zero success at Riviera Country Club, which is too short and tight for him. He has played there 11 times without winning, his longest career oh-fer. And here's where the coincidence comes into it: Woods has a vague "winning streak" going; to wit, he has won seven consecutive events on the PGA Tour. Best streak, period, is 11, set by Byron Nelson more than 60 years ago.

    But it's a canard. Nobody who saw the Americans, Woods included, get handed their heads at the Ryder Cup could possibly suggest that week shouldn't count. So, too, his first-round ouster at the World Match Play Championships at Wentworth, last fall, or his recent third-place finish at Dubai, when he putted terribly.

    The guy is so obviously great that it seems silly to need to invent "streaks" to validate his dominance
  9. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    I believe some kind of agreement was reached that, if necessary, a special notation would be created specifying "consecutive games over a span of two seasons."

    Had Rollins hit in 57 in a row, I believe DiMaggio would still own THE record. Rollins would just have received his own mention with the above disclaimer.

    But I'm not 100 percent certain, either.
  10. Golf records?
    Do what you want with them, I'll be over here, watering the cat.
  11. JR

    JR Well-Known Member

    A win streak is a win streak. No qualifiers.

    He doesn't have one.

    As Perkins says, it's a canard.
  12. BTExpress

    BTExpress Well-Known Member

    There's no problem, provided the story is reported properly.

    "Tiger Woods extended his PGA win streak to eight Sunday with a two-stroke victory in the Buick Open" . . . gives too much importance to the streak.

    Putting the following sentence around, say, the sixth sentence would be proper perspective.

    "The victory was Woods' eighth in a row on the PGA Tour."

    And any headlines that use "streak" also give it too much importance.

    Our job isn't to deny the existence of any streak, only to report it properly.
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