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Posts tagged ‘Byron Nelson’

Arnold Palmer Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor

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The Great Arnold Palmer

 The Great Arnold Palmer joined the company of elite Americans like George Washington and Neil Armstrong, when he was honored for his far-reaching lifetime contributions on Wednesday by being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The Speaker of the House John Boehner, praised Arnold during the ceremony in the Rotunda of the Capitol building, he said;

“He didn’t set out to change the game. But he did. Arnold Palmer democratized golf. And made us think that we too could go out and play, and made us believe we could do anything really. All we had to do was go out and try. You’ve struck our hearts and our minds, and today your government and fellow citizens are striking the Golf Medal for you.”

Arnold has become the sixth athlete to be honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest honor that can be bestowed upon any living citizen, following Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates, track and field Olympic champion Jesse Owens, Brooklyn Dodger pioneer Jackie Robinson, boxing legend Joe Louis and of course fellow golfer Byron Nelson.

Arnold mentioned Byron and the respect golfers have for each other in his acceptance speech;

“It’s interesting that two of the six recipients of the honor have been golfers. I like to truly believe that golfers promote some sort of human value that symbolizes so many Americans, such as characteristics of honesty, hard work, dedication, responsibility, and respect for the other guy. I hope I can thank you properly and tell you how much it means to me to be here to accept this award. I’m very humbled, thank you very much.”

Jack Nicklaus, a fellow competitor on the Golf course as well as in business, honored his close friend, with a heartfelt speech built around the theme of the Arnold Palmer I’ll never forget. Jack reiterated the story about the first time he watched Arnold hit a ball, at age 14. He was standing and watching in awe at Sylvania C.C. outside Toledo, Ohio as Arnold hit piercing long irons into the rain, on the driving range before the 1954 Ohio Amateur Championship, which Arnold went on to win. Jack said;

” Arnold embodied the hard-working spirit of America, and he played a game we all could try to be good at.”

Among Arnold’s numerous charitable contributions include the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children, the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center in California and Arnie’s Army.

Congratulations Arnold, and I hope you have tried the putter I sent you.



Golfing Great Byron Nelson and 1 Record That Will Never Be Broken

By

 (Featured Columnist) on May 17, 2012

605 reads

18 

No apologies for passing on Michael’s story, just as he posted it. It is good reading.
5 Apr 2001:  Byron Nelson of the USA  at the 1st tee on the first day of the 2001 Masters at the Augusta National Golf Club, Augusta, GA, USA.....DIGITAL IMAGE. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Munday/ALLSPORT

Stephen Munday/Getty Images

As the HP Byron Nelson Championship gets underway this week in Irving, Texas, it seems like an opportune time to explore a record set by Byron Nelson back in the 1940s that will never, ever be broken.

If you think I’m referring to his 11 consecutive victories in 1945, you’d be wrong—although that record is also unlikely to be broken in this modern era of the game.

If you think I’m referring to Nelson’s 18 total victories in 1945, you’d also be wrong—although, once again, that record is unlikely to be touched anytime soon.

Nope, I am referring to Nelson’s streak of 113 consecutive cuts made.

Okay, now, before you begin jumping through your computer monitor to attack me with, “Woods already broke Nelson’s record when he made 142 consecutive cuts,” we need to examine exactly how the PGA Tour defines a “made cut.”

The PGA Tour defines making a “cut” as simply receiving a pay check. The Tour’s media guide used to even have a category labeled, “Most Consecutive Tournaments in the Money” before changing it over to “Most Consecutive Events with Missing the Cut” in the late 1970s.

At a typical PGA Tour event, the top 70 and ties make the 36-hole cut and receive a pay check for the week. In Nelson’s era, however, only the top-20 finishers would receive pay checks.

So, Nelson’s streak of 113 consecutive cuts is better defined as a streak of 113 consecutive top-20 finishes, which is a record that will NEVER be matched by any player.

Just to put Nelson’s streak into perspective, Woods’ longest streak of top-20 finishes tops out at 23 between 2000 and 2001, a mere 90 short of Nelson’s 113 consecutive “made cuts.”

 

Nelson also managed to win 38 tournaments during the course of this streak, which is a 34 percent winning percentage.

In this day and age, when parity has become the new winning,—at least in terms of the World Golf Rankings—it’s not out of the question to surmise that, had the World Golf Rankings existed in the 1940s, Nelson would have been the No. 1-ranked player for at least six years, which would have trumped Woods’ record of 264 consecutive weeks at No. 1.

It’s easy to get caught up in this modern era of the game. Due to the persistent media coverage surrounding Woods’ quest for 18 majors, we tend to forget that there were some truly great players who came along many years before Woods and Jack Nicklaus.

Woods may or may not break Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championship wins; no one can predict one way or the other with any level of certainty.

What is as close as possible to a certainty in this game, however, is that no one will even approach, let alone break, Nelson’s record of 113 consecutive top-20 finishes.

In this aforementioned day and age of “parity,” five consecutive top 10s might just get you to No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings. But take Luke Donald and let him win 34 events and finish within the top 20 113 consecutive times over the next six years.

Only then might you have a modern-day equivalent to Byron Nelson.

 

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