An ESPN writer has concocted the “Best American Athlete Championship Belt” – detailing the best athlete in the country dating back to 1912. Several golfers appear on the list; here’s a list of who made it off the links.
1930, Bobby Jones. He won the US and British Opens and the US and British Amateur Tournaments. He couldn’t win The Masters because he hadn’t designed the course yet.
1945, Byron Nelson. He won 18 tournaments in the calendar, including 11 in a row. That’s a record that you file away in the “never, ever” category.
1953, Ben Hogan. He played in six tournaments in 1953. He won five of them, including the US Open, Masters, and Open Championship, something no one else has ever done.
1999-2002, Tiger Woods. In 1999, he won eight of the 21 events he entered, including the PGA Championship and the Tour Championship. In 2000, he won 10 tournaments – three majors. In 2001 he was player of the Year and finished the Tiger Slam.
2005-2006, Tiger Woods. His run was interrupted by Tim Ducan in 2003 and Michael Phelps in 2004. He won six events in 2005 and eight in 2006, including six in a row.