Nelsons 1945 Arguably Golfs Best

By Associated PressMay 11, 2005, 4:00 pm
IRVING, Texas -- The 18 tee boxes on the TPC at Las Colinas each have a sign showing the tournaments Byron Nelson won in 1945 on the PGA Tour, including his record 11 straight victories from the Miami Four-Ball in March through the Canadian Open in August.
It is a subtle reminder for Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els and the rest of Big Five playing in the Byron Nelson Championship of what many consider the greatest year in golf.
There is an argument for Bobby Jones winning the Grand Slam in 1930 when the four majors consisted of the U.S. Open, U.S. Amateur, British Open and British Amateur.
Ben Hogan won five of the six tournaments he played in 1953, three of them the only majors he could enter. Woods won nine times in 2000, including three straight majors, and broke Nelson's scoring record that had stood for 55 years.
'All are different for different reasons,' Woods said Wednesday when asked to rate the greatest season. 'But I have to say his feat, winning 11 in a row. I don't care that some of the guys were gone with the war and stuff. Winning 11 in a row ... do you realize how good you have to play?
'You're going to have one bad week in there, but his bad week he still won by probably, three, four, five shots?'
He was close.
Nelson won by at least two shots in the stroke-play tournaments he played that year.
On the 60-year anniversary of his record year, Lord Byron was honored Wednesday afternoon at the tournament that has carried his name for the last 38 years and, appropriately, has given more to charity than any other tour event.
He met briefly with reporters, and Nelson was asked if he ever thought that at age 93, he could look back at his 1945 season and see that no one had matched it. Hogan won 13 times the next year, while the closest anyone has ever come to his streak was Hogan (1948) and Woods (1999-2000), who each won six in a row.
Nelson smiled.
'I never thought about the fact I'd live to be 93,' he said as the room erupted in laughter.
He is still going strong, showing up at the Masters last month, driving out to the airport on Monday to greet U.S. Open champion Retief Goosen, who is playing in the Byron Nelson Championship for the first time.
'He's sitting out there at the Champions Dinner telling stories, talking about 1931 like it was two days ago,' defending champion Sergio Garcia said. 'It's amazing.'
As for his season?
'I don't think anybody is going to ever achieve that again,' Garcia said. 'It's something out of this world.'
Asked about 1945, Nelson smiled and said, 'I can't remember.'
'Thank goodness,' he added, 'people don't let me forget.'
He only recalls that golf felt easy, not winning 11 in a row or beating the field by as many as 10 shots, but the fluid swing that always seemed to find the fairway.
'I didn't have to make great changes because I learned to grip the club correctly when I was 18, and I never changed that,' Nelson said. 'When I found something that worked, I never changed.'
Nelson only played to make enough money to build a ranch, and it was a meager sum by today's standards - $182,000 - roughly ninth-place money this week.
He often is asked how he would do against today's stars.
'I wouldn't go hungry,' Nelson said.
There is no shortage of stars at Las Colinas, the first time at a regular PGA Tour event that the top five in the world ranking - Woods, Singh, Els, Phil Mickelson and Goosen - are all in the field. The top four all are past champions at the Byron Nelson Championship.
Singh is coming off his third victory of the season last week at the Wachovia Championship, where he took advantage of a record-tying collapse by Garcia to win in a playoff. Mickelson showed signs of getting his game ready for the U.S. Open by closing with a 66 despite a double bogey-bogey finish.
Woods tied for 11th last week at Quail Hollow in his first tournament since winning the Masters.
Els also has three wins this year, all from afar. He won back-to-back in the Middle East (Dubai, Qatar), then two weeks ago recorded the largest winning margin of his career - 13 strokes - at the BMW Asian Open in China. Still, he is irritated that his game took a vacation at the Masters.
'I played some of the best golf I've played all year,' Els said. 'A month late, but that's one of those things.'
It shouldn't take Els long to feel as though he's back in the mix. The Big Easy plays the first two rounds with Singh, whom he called 'questionably the best player right now in the world.'
Singh has won twice the last three weeks, both in playoffs.
'He's found that little trick of beating the guys at the moment,' Els said. 'He just keeps on taking it over. If he's not winning, he's in playoff or very close. So, he's found that little magic. Who knows how long he's going to do it? Hopefully, not too long.'
Then again, no streak seems terribly long this week, not with so much focus on what Nelson did in 1945.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - EDS Byron Nelson Championship
    Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
  • Getty Images

    Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

    Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

    The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

    Getty Images

    Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

    By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

    JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

    Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

    The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

    Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

    Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

    Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

    Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

    Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

    None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.

    Full list of 2017 Newsmakers of the Year

    Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

    An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

    In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

    Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.

    Playing with the pros

    Tiger, DJ and Faxon

    Article: Video, images from Tiger, DJ's round with Trump

    Article: After DJ and Tiger, Trump plays golf with Jack

    Rory faces criticism

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump about respect for presidency

    Article: Rory: Round with Trump not a 'political statement'

    President at the Presidents Cup

    Video: President Trump makes the rounds at Liberty National

    Article: President Trump presents trophy to U.S. team

    Article: Stricker: 'Great thrill' to get trophy from Trump

    Purported round of 73 with Lindsey Graham

    Article: Senator tweets Trump shot 73 in windy, wet conditions

    Article: Graham offers details on Trump's round of 73

    Cart on the green

    Article: Trump appears to drive cart on Bedminster green

    Presence and protests at U.S. Women's Open

    Article: Trump makes presidential history at Women's Open

    Article: Trump supporters, protesters clash near Women's Open

    Article: UltraViolet takes protest inside Trump National

    Photo gallery: President Trump at the U.S. Women's Open

    Trump golf properties


    Article: Environmental group vandalizes Trump golf course

    Article: Man accused of vandalizing four Trump courses


    Article: Two Trump courses in Scotland losing millions

    Article: Eric Trump denies Russia helped fund golf courses

    Article: Trump company ordered to pay $5.77M in dues dispute

    Reportedly fake TIME covers

    Article: Trump clubs display fake Time magazine cover

    Trump apologizes for voter-fraud story

    Report: Trump's voter fraud claim tied to Langer

    Langer: Trump 'apologized' for story mix-up

    Pros comment on the president

    Article: Players defend Trump at Senior PGA Championship

    Article: Trump congratulates Daly; Daly congratulates Trump

    Getty Images

    Newsmakers of the Year: Top 10 in 2017

    By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 12:30 pm