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:
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    Storms halt Barbasol before Lincicome tees off

    By Associated PressJuly 20, 2018, 11:29 pm

    NICHOLASVILLE, Ky. - Brittany Lincicome will have to wait until the weekend to resume her bid to make the cut in a PGA Tour event.

    Overnight storms delayed the start of the second round Friday in the Barbasol Championship, and an afternoon thunderstorm suspended competition for good. The round will resume Saturday morning with much of the field still to play.

    The second stoppage at Champions Trace at Keene Trace Golf Club came 20 minutes before Lincicome's scheduled tee time.

    Lincicome was near the bottom of the field after opening with a 6-over 78 on Thursday. The first LPGA player since Michelle Wie in 2008 to start a PGA Tour event, she needs a huge rebound to join Babe Zaharias (1945) as the only female players to make the cut.

    Troy Merritt had the clubhouse lead at 15 under, following an opening 62 with a 67.

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    Third-round tee times for the 147th Open

    By Golf Channel DigitalJuly 20, 2018, 9:05 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Eighteen major champions made the cut at The Open and will be playing the weekend at Carnoustie, including 60-year-old ageless wonder Bernhard Langer, and both major champs so far this year, Patrick Reed and Brooks Koepka.

    Twenty-four-year-old Gavin Green will be first off solo Saturday at 4:15 a.m. ET. Reed and Rhys Enoch will follow along 10 minutes later.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods, both at even par for the tournament, six shots behind leaders Zach Johnson and Kevin Kisner, are in consecutive groups. Mickelson is playing with Austin Cook at 8:05 a.m. and Woods is with South Africa’s Shaun Norris at 8:15 a.m.

    Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler, both three shots off the lead, are also in consecutive groups. Fowler is at 10 a.m. with Thorbjorn Olesen and Spieth is 10 minutes later with Kevin Chappell. Rory McIlroy, looking to win his first major since the 2014 PGA Championship, is at 10:40 a.m. with Xander Schauffele. McIlroy is two shots behind.

    Johnson and Kisner are last off at 11 a.m.

    4:15AM ET: Gavin Green

    4:25AM ET: Rhys Enoch, Patrick Reed

    4:35AM ET: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, Justin Rose

    4:45AM ET: Yusaku Miyazato, Tyrrell Hatton

    4:55AM ET: Ross Fisher, Keegan Bradley

    5:05AM ET: Ryan Fox, Jason Dufner

    5:15AM ET: Bryson DeChambeau, Henrik Stenson

    5:25AM ET: Tom Lewis, Sam Locke (a)

    5:35AM ET: Paul Casey, Chris Wood

    5:45AM ET: Bernhard Langer, Rafa Cabrera Bello

    6:00AM ET: Paul Dunne, Brett Rumford

    6:10AM ET: Masahiro Kawamura, Shubhankar Sharma

    6:20AM ET: Cameron Smith, Brendan Steele

    6:30AM ET: Marc Leishman, Lee Westwood

    6:40AM ET: Byeong Hun An, Kevin Na

    6:50AM ET: Julian Suri, Adam Hadwin

    7:00AM ET: Gary Woodland, Si-Woo Kim

    7:10AM ET: Yuta Ikeda, Satoshi Kodaira

    7:20AM ET: Marcus Kinhult, Thomas Pieters

    7:30AM ET: Beau Hossler, Haotong Li

    7:45AM ET: Cameron Davis, Sean Crocker

    7:55AM ET: Louis Oosthuizen, Stewart Cink

    8:05AM ET: Phil Mickeslon, Austin Cook

    8:15AM ET: Tiger Woods, Shaun Norris

    8:25AM ET: Lucas Herbert, Michael Kim

    8:35AM ET: Jason Day, Francesco Molinari

    8:45AM ET: Sung Kang, Webb Simpson

    8:55AM ET: Patrick Cantlay, Eddie Pepperell

    9:05AM ET: Matthew Southgate, Brooks Koepka

    9:15AM ET: Kyle Stanley, Adam Scott

    9:30AM ET: Charley Hoffman, Alex Noren

    9:40AM ET: Ryan Moore, Brandon Stone

    9:50AM ET: Luke List, Danny Willett

    10:00AM ET: Thorbjorn Olesen, Rickie Fowler

    10:10AM ET: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell

    10:20AM ET: Zander Lombard, Tony Finau

    10:30AM ET: Matt Kuchar, Erik Van Rooyen

    10:40AM ET: Rory McIlroy, Xander Schauffele

    10:50AM ET: Pat Perez, Tommy Fleetwood

    11:00AM ET: Kevin Kisner, Zach Johnson

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    Facial hair Fowler's new good-luck charm

    By Rex HoggardJuly 20, 2018, 8:12 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Before, during and after the Fourth of July, Rickie Fowler missed a few appointments with his razor.

    He arrived in the United Kingdom for last week’s Scottish Open still unshaved and he tied for sixth place. Fowler, like most golfers, can give in to superstition, so he's decided to keep the caveman look going for this week’s Open Championship.

    “There could be some variations,” he smiled following his round on Friday at Carnoustie.

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    At this rate, he may never shave again. Fowler followed an opening 70 with a 69 on Friday to move into a tie for 11th place, just three strokes off the lead.

    Fowler also has some friendly competition in the beard department, with his roommate this week Justin Thomas also going for the rugged look.

    “I think he kind of followed my lead in a way. I think he ended up at home, and he had a little bit of scruff going. It's just fun,” Fowler said. “We mess around with it. Obviously, not taking it too seriously. But like I said, ended up playing halfway decent last week, so I couldn't really shave it off going into this week.”

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    Spieth (67) rebounds from tough Round 1 finish

    By Ryan LavnerJuly 20, 2018, 7:55 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – Guess whose putter is starting to heat up again at a major?

    Even with a few wayward shots Friday at Carnoustie, Jordan Spieth made a significant climb up the leaderboard in the second round, firing a 4-under 67 to move just three shots off the lead.

    Spieth showed his trademark grit in bouncing back from a rough finish Thursday, when he mis-clubbed on the 15th hole, leading to a double bogey, and ended up playing the last four holes in 4 over.

    “I don’t know if I actually regrouped,” he said. “It more kind of fires me up a little.”

    Full-field scores from the 147th Open Championship

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    Spieth missed more than half of his fairways in the second round, but he was able to play his approach shots from the proper side of the hole. Sure, he “stole a few,” particularly with unlikely birdies on Nos. 10 and 11 after errant drives, but he took advantage and put himself in position to defend his claret jug.

    Spieth needed only 25 putts in the second round, and he credited a post-round adjustment Thursday for the improvement. The tweak allows his arms to do more of the work in his stroke, and he said he felt more confident on the greens.

    “It’s come a long way in the last few months, no doubt,” he said.

    More than anything, Spieth was relieved not to have to play “cut-line golf” on Friday, like he’s done each start since his spirited run at the Masters.

    “I know that my swing isn’t exactly where I want it to be; it’s nowhere near where it was at Birkdale,” he said. “But the short game is on point, and the swing is working in the right direction to get the confidence back.”