HISTORY LESSON

The 11 most impressive streaks in pro golf history

By Joel Beall

Golf is not a game conducive to streaks, with so much changing week to week, hole to hole, even shot to shot. Which is what makes the precipice Jin Young Ko stood on all the more impressive.

Heading into this week’s BMW Ladies Championship, the World No. 2 had carded 14 consecutive scores in the 60s, matching the LPGA marks of Annika Sorenstam (2005) and So Yeon Ryu (2016-17) for most in tour history.

“Of course, that's not my sole goal. When I go on course, I focus on myself. But I think that it helps you as a player to have some motivating factors,” Ko said ahead of the opening round on Thursday at LPGA International Busan in Busan, South Korea. “I will be happy to break a record and make a new record. I think it's really important for me to focus and concentrate on my game and also enjoy the game. And I think that at the end of the day, the records will be determined by how I play on the course and what kind of attitude I have.

“So the pressure is there, but I think that I can keep the pressure in check. And I also think that having that ambition, I guess, to break records and that desire is also what drives players in general to be better.”

Unfortunately for Ko, the streak came to an end Thursday when she shot a one-under 71. Yet her performance in matching Sorenstam and Ryu’s all-time records got us thinking: Where does her feat stand against other streaks in golf?

So, went back through the history books to look at record streaks in pro golf and came up with, in our humble opinion, a list of the most impressive:

Most consecutive years with a win

Kathy Whitworth pulled off this remarkable stretch on the LPGA for 17 straight years, with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer doing the same for the men.

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Bettmann

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Jack Nicklaus’ Open Championship streak

The Golden Bear finished no worse than T-6 for 15 straight years at the Open Championship, with three wins and six runners-up in that span.

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Most bogey-free holes

Jin Young Ko is no stranger to streaks. In 2019, she bested Tiger Woods’ mark of 110 holes without a bogey by going 114 holes, a stretch that saw Ko win the Canadian Women's Open.

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Han Myung-Gu

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Byron Nelson’s win streak

Arguably the most famous streak in the sport, Nelson won 11 straight PGA Tour events from March to August in 1945—including the PGA Championship, the only major played that year. The streak eventually ended with a T-4 finish at the Memphis Invitational.

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Nelson’s other streak

That would be 65 straight events finishing inside the top 10, a stretch that spanned over four years.

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Bettmann

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Most consecutive under-par rounds

Lydia Ko and Annika Sorenstam share this record at 29 consecutive rounds under par. On the PGA Tour the record is owned, perhaps surprisingly, by Tim Petrovic at 26 rounds.

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A very familiar winner

Here’s another impressive accomplishment by Sorenstam: She had holds the record for most consecutive years winning the same tournament, having been the champion of the Mizuno Classic five straight times from 2001-2005. The PGA Tour record is four, accomplished by Walter Hagen, Gene Sarazen and Tiger Woods (twice).

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Koichi Kamoshida

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The ultimate fairway finder

For 10 consecutive years on the PGA Tour (1981-1990), Calvin Peete was the leader in driving accuracy. In his best year, 1983, he hit 1,029 of 1,217 fairways, for a driving percentage of 84.55 percent, the best on record.

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Augusta National

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Weeks at World No. 1

Tiger Woods holds the record for most consecutive weeks as World No. 1 at 281. He’s also second on the list at 264 weeks. In a distant third is Greg Norman at 96 weeks.

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Tiger’s cut streak

Tiger’s cut streak at 142 tournaments is well-known. Just as impressive: Woods beat the field average in 89 straight events.

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David Cannon

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Most consecutive birdies in a round

Nine, shared by Mark Calcavecchia and Kevin Chappell. Calcavecchia accomplished his feat at the 2009 Canadian Open, with Chappell matching it in 2019 on the way to a 59 at the Greenbrier Classic.
 

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Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images

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