Tiger's six-win streak; Prodigy: Byron Nelson won 11 straight, but Woods' victories came against more talented competition.


TIGER WOODS almost never relinquishes a lead. He wins coming from far behind as well -- as he did on Sunday, making up seven shots in seven holes at Pebble Beach.

Power and finesse, confidence and grace, he may have it all -- and he's strikingly mature at the age of 24.

Sunday's victory gave him six PGA championships in a row. He presses to match the record set in 1945 by the man called Lord Byron. Mr. Woods probably won't win another five straight.

And yet he has already surpassed many of golf's best players of this and any era.

When Byron Nelson went on his tear, professional golf was a relative infant. And many good players had been away fighting a World War. Mr. Woods, by contrast, built his streak against many more superb players from around the world, athletes who can shoot the lights out week after week.

Mr. Nelson himself says no one ever had a better year than Mr. Woods in 1999. Jack Nicklaus, greatest golfer of the last century, agrees. It's easy for him to be generous; he set the record of major tournament victories in a career -- 18.

That's the record Tiger Woods really wants. Since only four majors are played every year, he'll be out there on Sunday afternoons for a decade or two. The golfing world can hardly wait.

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