Tiger Woods' Top-10 Streak and the 13 Most Amazing Statistics in Golf History
Tiger Woods was 21 years old when he entered the top 10 in the Official World Golf Rankings the week before the 1997 Masters.
He is now 35 years old and is currently ranked 12th in the world.
Woods remained in the top 10 for over 14 years, and this streak is truly one of the remarkable statistics ever seen in golf.
Lets take a look at 13 of the most amazing statistics in golf history.
The Magic Number
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Only four players have ever achieved this feat on the PGA Tour.
That is, break 60 in an official event.
Numerous players have broken 60 on other tours, at Q-School, and unofficial events like Phil Mickelson's 59 at the Grand Slam of Golf.
Even more remarkable is that Annika Sorenstam is the lone woman to break 60 in an official LPGA event.
When someone shoots the magic number, it is the biggest news in the golf world.
Not only is it more rare than a no-hitter in baseball, but it blows the minds of the everyday golfer.
Most Sunday golfers cannot break 80, which only makes the score seem even more impossible in the mind of the average golfer.
The Magic Number is definitely one of the most impressive achievements in golf.
Even Par: the Hard Way
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The average golfer likes to savor the moment when they two-putt for a par.
In professional golf, this frustrates players. They strive for one-putt birdies.
Thus, when Jeev Milka Singh made 18 pars in a row en route to a victory in 2008 at the Austria Open, he was a bit frustrated.
Nick Faldo has also gone through a round without defeating or losing to par on a single hole.
I appreciate a string of four or five pars. That makes this feat seem absolutely unbelievable.
The crazy thing is, Singh was disappointed after the round.
Then again, golf is a crazy game.
11 Hole Sudden Death Playoff
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Yes, a sudden death playoff once went 11 holes.
In 1949, Cary Middlecoff and Lloyd Mangrum tied each other on 11 straight holes in the Motor City Open.
The sad part is, the reason the playoff started was never resolved.
Sudden death playoffs are used to declare a single winner, but in this case, that never happened.
Both men agreed to be co-winners of the event.
Although the outcome was disappointing for onlookers, it is remarkable that two players made the same score on 11 straight holes.
This is one of those occurrences that may never happen again.
18 Major Wins
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We all though Tiger Woods was going to breeze by Jack Nicklaus's record of 18 major wins.
The past few years have shown that this may never happen.
Some may say Tiger is still the better player, he is just under abnormal circumstances.
Others simply recognize the difficulty in what Nicklaus did.
The most amazing part of the 18 wins for Nicklaus is the amount of times he finished second.
The tournament he won the least was the British Open (three times). This was the same event he finished second the most (seven times).
11 Consecutive Victories
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11 wins in a row.
Those words will never be spoken again in professional golf.
This truly may be the closest thing to an unbreakable record in professional sports.
In 1945, Byron Nelson won 11 consecutive tournaments through a stretch from March to August.
This record defines the word amazing in itself.
Hole-in-One, on a Par 4
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On the PGA Tour, players hit hole-in-ones occasionally. On par 3s, that is.
In 2001, something miraculous happened at TPC Scottsdale.
Andrew Magee hit a hole-in-one: on a 332-yard par 4.
Yes, a par 4.
New technology may have been the only reason this had not happened before in a PGA Tour event.
However, that does not take away from the momentous nature of Magee's shot.
Whether it was luck or skill, it happened, and he is the only one to officially do it in PGA Tour history.
That is pretty incredible.
Shoot Your Age
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This world is full of talented elderly golfers.
Stories often circulate of 80-year-old men that shoot their age.
However, Sam Snead is one-of-a-kind. He shot his age, twice, when he was 67.
As a 67-year-old-man he shot a 66 and a 67 in the Quad Cities Open in 1979.
Most golfers would kill to be able to shoot 67 at any point in their golfing careers, let alone when they are actually 67 years old.
That is what makes this man and this accomplishment, although not out of the ordinary to him, so significant.
Most Consecutive Birdies to Win
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Golf is a pressure sport.
Pressure seems to affect players the most at the end of a tournament. Look at Phil Mickelson in the 2006 US Open for proof.
In 1956, Mike Souchak looked the pressure that mounts at the end of the tournament straight in the eyes. He accepted the challenge, and capitalized on his ability to handle it better than the competition.
Souchak birdied the last six holes to win the St. Paul Open.
That set the mark that has not been beaten since.
Even Jack Nicklaus has not matched Souchak, although he nearly matched him in 1978 with five birdies to finish the Jackie Gleason Inverrary Classic.
When your record survived the career of Nicklaus, it must have been special.
Youngest Female to Make a Cut in an LPGA Tournament
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Yes, Michelle Wie has been a bit of disappointment as she has grown up.
However, to be a disappointment, you must create expectations first.
Wie, definitely did this with her heroic performance in the 2003 Kraft Nabisco Championsip, a major, at 13 years old.
Not only was she the youngest golfer to make a cut in an LPGA Tour event, but she had a chance to win.
She played in the final group on Sunday, but finished ninth.
Clearly, Wie proved her potential despite her failure to meet the lofty expectations she set at such a young age.
In her sport, it is popular for young players to emerge and make appearances in LPGA tournaments.
However, Wie's record still stands, and it might be one of the more shocking records in golf.
Greg Norman: a New Level of Choking
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Poor Greg Norman.
He was considered one of the best golfers in the world in the mid-1990s.
He was also considered one of the biggest choke artists in the mid-1990s.
Norman's worst collapse may have been at the 1996 Masters when he went into Sunday with a six shot lead over Nick Faldo.
He went on to shoot a 78 and lose by five strokes.
So how does Greg Norman fit into the most amazing statistics in golf history?
He had 30 top-10 finishes in major championships.
He won only twice.
Highest Score on a Single Hole
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John Daly made an 18 on a single golf hole.
This should be shocking, but for some reason, it seems like Daly and this record were meant to be.
Daly is a unique personality in the world of professional golf, and it would not surprise most people to hear that he has the record for the highest score on a hole in a PGA Tour event.
Still, Daly has been topped.
The European Tour record is 20, by Philippe Porquier in 1978.
Despite the difficulty of the courses they play, these numbers are astounding.
It takes a true mental breakdown to record a number that high.
Unfortunately, that is something that can be characteristic of Daly at times.
Lowest Nine Hole Score
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Corey Pavin hit a golf ball only 26 times as he played nine holes.
It feels surreal to write that.
Although the nine holes he did it on only added up to par 34, this is a phenomenal feat for a well-respected player.
Technically, Corey Pavin does not hold the record for the most strokes under par on nine holes.
Still, to shoot a 26 in his mid-40s is pretty impressive.
Usually, fans look at a 29 as the threshold for an amazing nine hole score.
That makes a 26 sound even better.
Tiger Woods: No Longer in the Top 10
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The world of golf may have turned a new leaf.
For years, we have been looking for someone to challenge Tiger Woods for the number one spot in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Phil Mickelson was never quite good enough to consistently dethrone him.
Young guns like Anthony Kim could never sustain a long run at the top.
The problem now is, we don't have just one stud that has taken down Tiger. Instead, we have 11 players who have slid past him due to his own struggles.
This isn't what we wanted. It probably isn't even what the players wanted.
Still, Tiger is no longer a top-10 golfer. In fact, he is a long way from getting back to that form.
It seems that tournament fields get deeper and deeper as Tiger continues to struggle.
If he never returns to his top-10 status, we can still remember his greatness.
He was ranked in the top-10 from 1997 to 2011.
That is special.