Wednesday, May 17

Byron Nelson and Golf's Greatest Streak

The AT&T Byron Nelson begins tomorrow in Irving, Texas. The following piece is from the archives.

ON MARCH 11, 1945, BYRON NELSON won the Miami International Four-Ball with Harold "Jug" McSpaden as his partner. It was the beginning of an extraordinary win streak that has never been matched on the PGA Tour and is one of the greatest individual streaks in the history of sports.

Byron Nelson's 11 Tournament Win Streak
Miami International Four-Ball
Charlotte Open
Greensboro Open
Durham Open
Atlanta Open
Montreal Open
Philadelphia Inquirer Invitational
Chicago Victory National Open
PGA Championship
Tam O’Shanter Open
Canadian Open

Nelson earned just under $35,000 during the streak. "I was almost in a trance," he told Golf Digest in 1970. That year, he won 18 of the 30 tournaments he entered, including the PGA Championship, a match-play event until 1958. He finished second seven times.

A month after Nelson's death in 2006, President George W. Bush approved a resolution to honor the golf great with the Congressional Gold Medal for his numerous contributions to the game.

How Nelson Ranks: Sports' Greatest Individual Streaks
(From the Page 2 editors of
1. Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak (1941) 
2. Glenn Hall's 502 consecutive games played by a goaltender (from 1955 to 1962) 
3. Cal Ripken Jr.'s 2,632 consecutive games played (May 30, 1982 to Sept. 20, 1998) 
4. Byron Nelson's 11 straight PGA victories in 1945
5. Wilt Chamberlain's seven straight games of 50 or more points (Dec. 16-29, 1961) 
6. Johnny Unitas' 47 straight games with a TD pass (1956-60) 
7. Wayne Gretzky's 51-game points streak (1983-84) 
8. Edwin Moses' 122-win streak in the 400-meter hurdles (1977-87) 
9. Tiger Woods' four straight major pro golf titles 
10. Harry Broadbent's 16-game goal streak (1921-22)

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