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The Promise Keeper
Rick Reilly
February 21, 2000
You know the coolest thing about Tiger Woods's streak?
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February 21, 2000

The Promise Keeper

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You know the coolest thing about Tiger Woods's streak?

Nah, not the six straight wins, one of the top 10 feats in modern sports history.

Not the way he almost made it seven, even after losing his swing somewhere among the hang gliders and moondoggies and nude beachers at Torrey Pines Golf Club outside San Diego.

Not that during those seven tournaments he fricasseed 623 other golfers, tied one and lost to one.

Not that he earned just cab fare less than $5 million over those seven weeks, or did enough ads to make people actually believe he drives a Buick, or that he went from 17th on the career PGA Tour money list to first.

Not that during that stretch he passed Ralph Guldahl, Tommy Bolt, Ken Venturi, Tom Weiskopf, Fred Couples, David Duval, Paul Azinger, Mark O'Meara, Davis Love III, Phil Mickelson, Corey Pavin and Nick Price in career wins even though he still isn't old enough to rent a car in most places.

Not that he beat the nastiest sticks from all over the world while tramping through 10 time zones and being herded daily through last-day-of-Saigon mobs, Watergate press conferences and lobbies full of get-a-life autograph hounds, including one at 5:50 one morning at the Torrey Pines Hilton.

Not that he had done all this when no other Tour golfer had even won four in a row since the '50s. And not that after losing at Torrey Pines to Mickelson he wasn't relieved as any sane human would be, but was genuinely pissed at what he called "finishing second" to Byron Nelson's antiquated, not-even-comparable streak of 11 in 1945 against a whole lot of Jug McSpadens in Miami Four Balls.

Not even that last Saturday night somebody actually asked, "Tiger, would you be surprised if one of these guys makes a run at you?" and Woods was trailing by six at the time.

No, the coolest thing about the Tiger Woods streak was that when he was hotter than a six-dollar pistol, in a publicity boiler, he kept a promise he'd made to a junior high school buddy three months before and let him caddie in San Diego.

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