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Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Golf legend Byron Nelson dies at 94

"IRVING, Texas -- Byron Nelson, golf's elegant 'Lord Byron' whose 11 straight tournament victories in 1945 stand as one of sport's most enduring records, died Tuesday. He was 94.

Nelson's Numbers
• Won 52 PGA Tour events.
• Won 11 tournaments in a row in 1945 (an all-time record).
• Won 18 total tournaments that year
• Won five total majors (1937 and '42 Masters, 1939 U.S. Open, 1940 and '45 PGA Championship)
• Made 113 consecutive cuts at one point, second all-time to Tiger Woods' 142
• Played on Ryder Cup teams in 1937 and 1947 and was a non-playing captain of the 1965 team.
• Finished in the Top 10 in 65 consecutive tournaments from 1942 to 1946.
• The EDS Byron Nelson Championship is the only PGA Tour stop named after a professional golfer.
• First win was 1935 New Jersey State Open
• Last win was 1951 Bing Crosby Pro-Am

His wife, Peggy Nelson, told family friend Angela Enright that her husband appeared fine as she left for Bible study Tuesday morning. As she left their Roanoke home, he told her, 'I'm so proud of you,' something he often said about her church involvement. When she returned, she found him on the back porch facing his woodworking shop.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office said he died of natural causes.

Known for his graceful swing and gentle manner, Nelson had the greatest year in the history of professional golf in 1945 when he won 18 tournaments. He captured 31 of 54 tournaments in 1944-45. Then, at age 34, he retired after the 1946 season to spend more time on his Texas ranch.

'Byron Nelson was, without question, one of the greatest players our game has seen,' said Jack Nicklaus, whose 73 PGA Tour wins rank second only to Sam Snead's 83. 'When you talk about people who provided the foundation for the modern game of golf, Bryon Nelson is one of the first names you must mention. " (more) ESPN.com - GOLF - Golf legend Byron Nelson dies at 94

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