Press Pass Streaks Dominance

By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 31, 2007, 5:00 pm
Press PassEach week, Golf Channel experts and analysts will offer their thoughts and opinions on hot topics in the world of golf. This week, the Press Pass debates the greatest streak in all sports and on which course is Tiger Woods the most dominant.
Hot Topic
Tigers PGA TOUR winning streak is now at seven straight. What is the most impressive streak in any sport?
Brian Hewitt Brian Hewitt - Senior Writer,
One you never hear about. In 1938, Johnny Vander Meer pitched two straight no-hitters for the Cincinnati Reds. Think about it. To break that record streak somebody will have to pitch three consecutive no-hitters. Won't ever happen. Second on my list is Nelson's 11. Third, the late Pete Maravich AVERAGED 44.2 points per game for three years at LSU. That's a scoring streak.
Kraig Kann Kraig Kann - Host, Golf Channel:
Cal Ripken's consecutive games streak is tops on the chart ... 2131 straight games played; though, I don't have but three streaks at the tip of my tongue. A.C. Green played in the most consecutive NBA games which is impressive. Joe DiMaggio's streak of 56 straight games with a hit. To me, it's Ripken, hands down because of the injury factor. Talent is one thing (Tiger has plenty), durability is another. If Tiger played and won 11 straight events ... now we'd really be talking about something!
Mercer Baggs Mercer Baggs - Senior Producer,
There are plenty of streaks that will likely never be broken, but nothing seems to amaze me more than Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak. Only one person has come within 17 games of that mark since he did it in 1941 -- and that just happened to be Pete Rose, the all-time hits king, who got to 44 in '78. Aside from that, I also find it amazing that Brett Favre has played in 237 straight NFL games (257 including playoffs), a record as a quarterback.
Hot Topic
Woods has won at least three times on six different courses on TOUR. On which one is he the most dominant?
Firestone. Five wins there including one that ended in the dark. Talk about a course fitting a player's eye. This one fits Woods' eye even when he can barely see his hand in front of his face.
Torrey Pines. He's great at Bay Hill and Muirfield and, of course, Augusta. Firestone CC has been a friendly place, too. But he's simply magic at Torrey Pines. Five wins thus far, and now three in a row. I'll go with San Diego.
I can't pick St. Andrews, since he's only won there twice. And he seems to have some stiff competition at Augusta National in Phil Mickelson. So, it comes down to Torrey Pines South and Firestone South. He's won five times at each venue. But I think he's been a bit more dominant at Torrey. Aside from his 11-shot win in the 2000 NEC (now the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational), his other four victories have either been by one stroke or in playoffs. On the other hand, four of his five Buick Invitational victories have been by multiple shots, including his most recent.
Hot Topic
Several notable players are playing this week in Dubai on the European Tour. Should tours pay appearance fees to entice players?
I believe it's an advantage the European Tour needs to be able to compete, full field to full field, with the PGA TOUR. It should be pointed out, the Euros need no help when it comes to competing, 12 players to 12 players, in the Ryder Cup.
This is a tough question. Some tours have no choice but to offer money to entice big name players to venture overseas. Tiger's talent and stardom means he doesn't have to do anything without compensation. (Not that he always does.) If Tiger doesn't play Nissan (which he's never won) there will be those who say he's chosen Dubai over Nissan and the chance to make it eight straight. Yet, Tiger is the defending champ and Tiger travels and promotes the game worldwide. Is it his fault they're paying him? No. I wish it wasn't an issue, but I don't have a problem with players going global for 'green' so long as they support their own tour.
I don't have a problem with it -- on international tours. It's not necessary on the PGA TOUR since that is the game's preeminent arena. But in order for other tours, like the European and Australasian, to stay alive, they need to be able to get notable players to play their events. And the best way to do that is to pay them.
Hot Topic
Who you got in the Super Bowl?
Da Bears. By 50, my friend. With a mini-Ditka driving da team bus at da victory parade.
Da Bears! I'm a Chicago guy and a big Bears fan. I was in college when they dismantled the Patriots, 46-10. I'm not forecasting a similar blowout by any means ... but I love the underdog role and I'll take a one-point win if I can get it. 30-27 Bears ... on a Robbie Gould field goal. Sorry Adam V.; it's not your field goal this time.
Bears, 41-14. Peyton Manning never could beat Florida and he'll lose once again to their former quarterback. Just like the Gators stomped Ohio State in the National Championship game, Rex Grossman will lead Chicago to an easy victory -- in Florida, no less.
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    What's in the bag: CareerBuilder winner Rahm

    By Golf Channel DigitalJanuary 22, 2018, 10:37 pm

    Jon Rahm defeated Andrew Landry in a playoff to earn his second PGA Tour title at the CareerBuilder Challenge. Here's what's in his bag:

    Driver: TaylorMade M4 (9.5 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Fairway wood: TaylorMade M3 (19 degrees), with Aldila Tour Green 75 TX shaft

    Irons: TaylorMade P790 (3), P750 (4-PW), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Wedges: TaylorMade Milled Grind (52, 56 degrees), Milled Grind Hi-Toe (60 degrees), with Project X 6.5 shafts

    Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

    Ball: TaylorMade TP5x

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    Strange irked by Rahm-Landry friendly playoff

    By Jason CrookJanuary 22, 2018, 9:45 pm

    Curtis Strange knows a thing or two about winning golf tournaments, and based on his reaction to the CareerBuilder Challenge playoff on Sunday, it’s safe to say he did things a little differently while picking up 17 PGA Tour victories in his Hall-of-Fame career.

    While Jon Rahm and Andrew Landry were “battling” through four extra holes, Strange, 62, tweeted his issues with the duo’s constant chit-chat and friendly banter down the stretch at La Quinta Country Club, where Rahm eventually came out on top.

    The two-time U.S. Open champ then engaged with some followers to explain his point a little more in depth.

    So, yeah ... don't think he's changing his perspective on this topic anytime soon ever.

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    Randall's Rant: The Euros won't just roll over

    By Randall MellJanuary 22, 2018, 9:36 pm

    The Ryder Cup may not be the King Kong of golf events yet, but you can hear the biennial international team event thumping its chest a full eight months out.

    As anticipation for this year’s big events goes, there is more buzz about Europe’s bid to hold off a rejuvenated American effort in Paris in September than there is about the Masters coming up in April.

    Thank Europe’s phenomenal success last weekend for that.

    And Rory McIlroy’s impassioned remarks in Abu Dhabi.

    And the provocative bulletin board material a certain Sports Illustrated writer provided the Europeans a couple months ago, with a stinging assault on the Euro chances that read like an obituary.

    McIlroy was asked in a news conference before his 2018 debut last week what he was most excited about this year.

    The Ryder Cup topped his list.

    Though McIlroy will be trying to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta National come April, he talked more about the Ryder Cup than he did any of the game’s major championships.

    When asked a follow-up about the American team’s resurgence after a task-force overhaul and the injection of young, new star power, McIlroy nearly started breaking down the matchup. He talked about the young Americans and how good they are.

    “Yeah, the Americans have been, obviously, very buoyant about their chances and whatever, but it’s never as easy as that. ... The Ryder Cup’s always close,” McIlroy said. “I think we’ll have a great team, and it definitely won’t be as easy as they think it’s going to be.”

    McIlroy may have been talking about Alan Shipnuck’s bold prediction after the American Presidents Cup rout last fall.

    Or similar assertions from TV analysts.

    “The Ryder Cup is dead – you just don’t know it yet,” Shipnuck wrote. “One of the greatest events in sport is on the verge of irrelevancy. The young, talented, hungry golfers from the United States, benefitting from the cohesive leadership of the Task Force era, are going to roll to victory in 2018 in Paris.”

    European Ryder Cup captain Thomas Bjorn won’t find words that will motivate the Euros more than that as he watches his prospective players jockey to make the team.

    And, boy, did they jockey last weekend.

    The Euros dominated across the planet, not that they did it with the Ryder Cup as some rallying cry, because they didn’t. But it was a heck of an encouraging start to the year for Bjorn to witness.

    Spain’s Jon Rahm won the CareerBuilder Challenge on the PGA Tour, England’s Tommy Fleetwood started the week at Abu Dhabi paired with American and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and won the European Tour event, and Spain’s Sergio Garcia won the Singapore Open in a rout on the Asian Tour.

    And McIlroy looked close to being in midseason form, tying for third in his first start in three months.

    Yes, it’s only January, and the Ryder Cup is still a long way off, with so much still to unfold, but you got an early sense from McIlroy how much defending European turf will mean to him and the Euros in Paris in September.

    The Masters is great theater, the U.S. Open a rigorous test, The Open and the PGA Championship historically important, too, but the Ryder Cup touches a nerve none of those do.

    The Ryder Cup stokes more fervor, provokes more passion and incites more vitriol than any other event in golf.

    More bulletin board material, too.

    Yeah, it’s a long way off, but you can already hear the Ryder Cup’s King Kong like footsteps in its distant approach. Watching how the American and European teams come together will be an ongoing drama through spring and summer.

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    Quail Hollow officials promise players easier conditions

    By Rex HoggardJanuary 22, 2018, 9:14 pm

    Quail Hollow Club - a staple on the PGA Tour since 2003 - debuted as a longer, tougher version of itself at last year’s PGA Championship, receiving mixed reviews from players.

    The course played to a lengthened 7,600 yards at last year’s PGA and a 73.46 stroke average, the toughest course in relation to par on Tour in 2017. As a result, it left some players less than excited to return to the Charlotte, N.C.-area layout later this spring for the Wells Fargo Championship.

    It’s that lack of enthusiasm that led officials at Quail Hollow to send a video to players saying, essentially, that the course players have lauded for years will be back in May.

    The video, which includes Quail Hollow president Johnny Harris and runs nearly five minutes, begins with an explanation of how the first hole, which played as a 524-yard par 4 at the PGA, will play much shorter at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    “I had a number of my friends who were playing in the tournament tell me that tee was better suited as a lemonade stand,” Harris joked of the new tee box on the fourth hole. “I doubt we’ll ever see that tee used again in competition.”

    Harris also explained that the greens, which became too fast for some, will be “softer” for this year’s Wells Fargo Championship.