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There's no Tiger streak

There’s a lot in the media this morning about Tiger extending his win[photopress:woods_1.jpg,full,alignright] streak to seven and continuing to chase Byron Nelson’s 11 straight wins. What a lot of BS. In the past even Tiger acknowledged he wasn’t chasing Nelson since he failed to win a couple of tournaments in Asia and Europe last fall.

Apparently the PGA Tour media folks, desparate for a bit of hype, have convinced Tiger that he is, in fact, still chasing Nelson, at least judging by his quote following his win in San Diego:

“As far as how special seven is, you’re in elite company,” Woods said. “There’s only one person ahead of you. He’s one of the greatest legends in the history of the game. To be in company like with Mr. Nelson … it’s pretty special.”

Despite the quote, a story by AP’s Doug Ferguson points out that Woods doesn’t think there is still a streak:

Woods believes his winning streak ended when he lost in the first round of the HSBC World Match Play Championship last September, a European tour event. The PGA Tour record book only reflects its own tournaments.

In fact, if you dig into the transcript of the interview, one finds Tiger doesn’t think he’s challenging Nelson:

You have to clarify it. It’s not a worldwide streak. I play all around the world. It’s a PGA TOUR streak, which it is. And on top of that, it encompasses two different years, just like ’99 and 2000.
I play all around the world. I lost to Shaun Micheel, I lost the Ryder Cup, I lost in China and I lost in Japan. There are some L’s in there, and they are not all W’s.

In my mind, that’s the end of that discussion. It’ll be strange to see how the PGA Tour responds in a few weeks if Woods doesn’t win in Dubai this week.

What do you think? Is it a streak or not?

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Robert Thompson

A bestselling author and award-winning columnist, Robert Thompson has been writing about business and sports, and particularly golf, for almost two decades. His reporting and commentary on golf has appeared in Golf Magazine, the Globe and Mail, T&L Golf and many other media outlets. Currently Robert is a columnist with Global Golf Post, golf analyst for Global News and Shaw Communications, and Senior Writer to ScoreGolf. The Going for the Green blog was launched in 2004.

16 CommentsLeave a comment

  • It is not a streak. Today’s top golfers play on more than the PGA tour (unlike the times when Nelson played where top professional golfers played virtually only the PGA Tour). To be comparable, if Tiger tees it up in a competitive tournament, it should count towards a consecutive win streak (or not if he loses), PGA Tournament or not.

  • This is similar to the Raptors media…

    Last week, they said that they were playing 500 basketball for the first time since 2004.

    If the Toronto basketball media checked this month’s schedule, the Raptors were 500 after losing to Nets the first game and beating the Bucks the second game.

    Same twisted logic was used about Tiger’s streak….

  • It’s amazing but no streak. Interestingly that Tiger changed his mind during the week, at the start he was saying he had several Ls and by Sunday night he was agreeing with IMG/PGA that it was a streak. Regardless, he’s pretty good!

  • I don’t quite get it.
    Why would anyone consider Nelsons streak valid, when most of the Pros in 1945 were fighting in WWII, and Tigers streak invalid?
    Are you sure Nelson didn’t lose any tournament during that streak? The 11 victories were between March and August…no Tiajuana invitationals on the off weeks back then?
    My point is Tigers streak IS phenomenal. Seven PGA tournament victories in a row. Nelsons streak was akin to Tiger playing on the Canadian tour and winning 11.
    Lets keep things real and in perspective guys.
    It seems to me the Tiger bashers would end the streak if He and John Daly lost to Phil and Ernie at a Charity event in Wisconsin.

  • Fred has a good point. Both Woods and Nelson’s streaks are great achievement. However, I don’t think you can compare them side by side. We just just appreciate it for what they are worth; who cares if they break any record or not!

  • Camparing athletes from different times will always have issues and inconsistencies…but it is fun. With records, one tries to remove as many of the inconsistencies as possible.

    When Nelson played in ’45, the tour took a two month hiatus in the middle of the season…which accounts for the time lag of 11 victories between March and August.

    Consider the following. If Tiger’s losses in the fall were wins, would you not believe that everyone would be comparing Tiger’s streak to Nelson’s? You bet they would. There would be minimal talk to exclude those tournaments because they were not PGA events. Now, that he lost those tournaments, it would be disingenuous to exclude them for record comparing purposes because they were not PGA tournaments.

  • There is no Streak. Lord Byron’s was a win streak of 11 in 1 calendar year. It’s like Tigers grand slam. It’s the media plain and simple that wants to cash in on this baloney. Tiger only plays 15 times a year. It would be nearly impossible for him to break 11. The best example was this weekends tourney. The announcers(CBS) showed Tiger well over 95% of the time. I know he’s a great one for sure, but he’s not bigger than life no matter what Jim Nance thinks.

  • I don’t see any media articles that state it for anything other than what it is. Not a golf winning streak, but a PGA Tour streak. All this debate is just an excuse for the haters to minimize Tiger’s accomplishment. Kind of like the Tiger Slam vs Grand Slam question, “Big deal, he didn’t win them all in one calendar year”

  • Everyone has made some good points thus far. Great points, actually. My one problem is that of this “calendar year” argument.

    “It’s not a winning streak because it didn’t happen over a calendar year.”

    My main problem is that it is freaking HARD to win a golf tournament these days. The talent out there is just incredible. To win over 11 tournaments in a row AND do it within a calendar year (Jan 1-Dec 31) seems like such an impossible feat. The time constraints seem almost arbitrary when you think about the fact that somebody has to actually WIN all those tournaments to begin with. I can see why everyone is trying to give Tiger a little bit of a break.

    A streak is a streak. Seven PGA Tour events in a row. If the naysayers want to say, “well, Mr. Nelson did it in a calendar year,” then fine. But with this amazing accomplishment Tiger at least deserves his own category.

  • streak or no streak, Tiger hasn’t finished WORSE than T2 since missing the cut at the US Open last year. Thats pretty good.

  • Actually he finished lower than 2nd when he lost to Shawn Micheel in the 1st round of the World Match Play…….but who’s counting, other than the haters.

  • If Tiger wins all four majors this year it won’t be a Grand Slam unless he wins everything in between. A tournament is a tournament, and who cares whether the media hypes some
    events as majors? If he loses an event in May, then his streak is
    over, regardless of what all the little Tiger sycophants say. In
    fact, the only way he will impress me is if he wins the four majors in
    four consecutive weeks. Having a month or more between them isn’t the way Byron would have done it.

    Hell, Byron would’ve won em all in the same week!

  • Nelson Streak has, for sixty years, been considered the record in all of sport that’ll never be broken. It was 11 PGA Tour wins in a row. Tiger’s creeping up on this number, a feat so incredible it defies description. Now the detractors are arguing on the technicality of this streak….

    Come on!

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