Is Tiger's streak legit?

IAN HUTCHINSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:05 PM ET

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz -- Kenny Perry was lamenting the weather report on the range at the FBR Open a couple of weeks ago. The Valley of the Sun was living up to its name this day, but rain and cool temperatures were in the immediate forecast.

The weather has been erratic in the Sonoran Desert, as it has been across North America this winter, but if you seek guaranteed heat, it's usually a good bet to huddle around Tiger Woods, who is once again burning up the PGA Tour after winning the British Open last July.

After his recent win at the Buick Invitational, Woods aims to make it eight straight wins this week at the Accenture Match Play Championship, just down the road in Tucson at its new home at The Gallery.

Woods is seeded No. 1 at the tournament, which gets underway Wednesday, while Canadians Stephen Ames and Mike Weir are seeded 39th and 51st overall, respectively.

"Amazing, incredible, terrific --whatever you can say," said Perry of the Tiger tear.

Plenty has been said about a streak that threatens a record considered untouchable not so long ago. Should Woods push his consecutive wins to 12, he will replace the revered Byron Nelson who chalked up 11 straight in 1945, a five-month tear run that ended with the Canadian Open at Thornhill Country Club.

The debates already have begun on whether Woods, if he wins his next five tour events, should get the record. Comparing the accomplishments of Woods and Nelson is as pointless as comparing this year's Leafs to the 1967 Stanley Cup champs.

It can be said that Nelson accomplished his 11 straight in about half the time that Woods will take in getting there. Nelson didn't have the luxury of picking and choosing tournaments, nor the equipment, travel and fitness advantages that today's players have.

On the other hand, Woods could accomplish the record against tougher competition, so comparing different eras is fruitless. In the end, it doesn't matter because Woods will get the record anyway if he carries his current run to the required conclusion.

Woods has said he doesn't consider it a streak since he didn't win in Europe, Asia and, most recently, in Dubai a couple of weeks ago during his run on the PGA Tour.

Perry, a nine-time winner on tour, says he knows from personal experience how difficult it is to win multiple tournaments in a row. While he admits to having a soft spot for Nelson, he adds that it's difficult to deny Woods the recognition he deserves.

"We'll all still look at it as a record if he does do it," Perry said. "I about died winning two in a row. I won Colonial and Muirfield back to back in 2003 and it took everything I had out of me after the second one.

"I just can't imagine winning seven. I can't fathom it. It's like a billion dollars -- it doesn't fit in my head."

Dudley Hart, the 1996 Canadian Open champion, is of a different opinion. He agrees with Woods that it quit being a streak when he failed to win overseas.

"I think I'd probably agree with him," Hart said. "Just because it's PGA Tour only, it's not consecutive tournaments. Either way, it's unbelievable. I don't know if I could win seven in a row in junior golf-- that's pretty impressive, but I don't know if I would consider it a true streak for the same reasons (as Woods)."

Ames agrees. "What streak? It's a PGA Tour streak. Worldwide? No. I definitely agree with Tiger --- whatever he says."


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