Originally created 01/27/01

Tiger's streak of par or better ends



SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- It might go down as one of the most remarkable streaks in sports. When it finally came to a watery end, the first thing Tiger Woods could think of was to start it all over again.

Woods' consecutive streak of shooting par or better ended Friday in the second round of the Phoenix Open when he shot a 2-over 73 that left him 13 shots behind Mark Calcavecchia.

The official PGA Tour tally was 52 straight rounds of par or better, though Woods adds in 10 other competitive rounds to make it a streak of 62 rounds.

Either way, it was a record that will likely stand a long time - unless Woods himself manages to break it.

"I'd like to have another one," Woods said, when asked if the streak could be broken.

A day after he shot an effortless 65 on the same TPC of Scottsdale course, Woods struggled off the tee and with his irons, and couldn't make the putts that usually bail him out.

When he hit two shots into the water on the par-5 15th hole, he needed to birdie the last three holes to match par. He managed to birdie only the 17th hole, and when his sand wedge shot from 87 yards on the last hole didn't go in, the streak was over.

"It was a good streak," Woods said. "I had so many putts I lipped out that just didn't go in. It's the kind of round I've been turning into 68s, 69s or 70s. But the putts wouldn't drop."

The streak began May 12, a day after Woods shot a 3-over 73 in strong winds in the Byron Nelson Classic. He shot a 67 that day and hasn't been over par in a round since.

Through three major championships and 14 tournaments, Woods broke par 48 times and matched it the other four rounds.

"Golfers all around the world are amazed at what he's done," Calcavecchia said.

Of all places for the streak to end, the TPC at Scottsdale course didn't seem to be a contender. The course gave up three 64s on Thursday and a 60 to Calcavecchia on Friday.

But Woods got off to a slow start with a bogey on the second hole and another on the par-3 fourth. By the time he bogeyed No. 12 from a greenside bunker, he was 3 over for the day and had yet to make a birdie.

That changed when he birdied the next hole, a par-5, two-putting from 30 feet. With possible eagle holes remaining on Nos. 15 and 17 he still had a chance to get back to par or better.

But Woods hit a 3-wood into the water off the tee on the par-5 15th, then hit a 5-iron into the water again in front of the green. Only a great pitch to tap-in range saved his bogey.

"I didn't hit the ball all that great," Woods said. "I was pretty much walking with my head down trying to figure it out."

Woods missed an 18-footer for birdie on 16, then made a 2-footer on the next hole to get to 2 over. He had 87 yards to the pin on the final hole and needed to sink a sand wedge to get to even par. But the ball checked up, and he made par from about 12 feet.

The streak was on Woods' mind as he walked up to his ball on 18.

"I told (caddie) Stevie (Williams) that it would be nice to hole one there," he said.

Woods still has two other streaks going. He hasn't missed a cut in 61 tournaments, and hasn't shot over par for a tournament since the 1999 British Open at Carnoustie.

"I think I made the cut, so since I made the cut I'm going to hang around," he said.