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A Genius for Winning
Jaime Diaz
May 22, 1995
In 1945 Byron Nelson won like no one before or since—18 tournaments, 11 straight
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May 22, 1995

A Genius For Winning

In 1945 Byron Nelson won like no one before or since—18 tournaments, 11 straight

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"Winners," he told Al Barkow in Gettin' to the Dance Floor, a collection of interviews with golfing greats, "are...a different breed of cat.... They have an inner drive and are willing to give of themselves whatever it takes to win. It's a discipline that a lot of people are not willing to impose on themselves. It takes a lot of energy, a different way of thinking. It makes a different demand on you than to just go out and win money."

It was that demand as much as anything that drove Nelson off the tour. It's the same demand that has caused the latest player to be called dominant, Nick Price, to abruptly take a three-tournament break to combat encroaching burnout. It's the hard road, and one that has grown harder with the rise of the professional game's comfort level. Today's players, and tomorrow's, should recognize Nelson's particular genius. For while his records are unattainable, the mind-set that made history isn't.

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