History

1945: Lord Byron's streak continues

Champion: Byron Nelson, Toledo, Ohio
Site: Moraine Country Club, Dayton, Ohio
Date: July 9-15
Purse: $14,700

The finals of the 1945 PGA Championship matched Byron Nelson against Sam Byrd, a former New York Yankees outfielder (1929-34). It was Nelson's fifth appearance in the finals, and during his historic 11-event victory streak. The evening before the Championship finals, Nelson confided to his wife, Louise, that the pressure of the entire season was affecting him. He had won seven consecutive tournaments before the Championship at Moraine Country Club. The pressure Nelson feared would set in was evident in the opening 18 holes of the 36-hole match. Byrd wrapped up the round with four straight birdies and a 2-up lead. When Byrd began the afternoon round with par, par, birdie, Nelson's chances looked dim. But Nelson recovered from the rugged start, winning the 22nd, 25th and 26th holes to square the match.

He pulled ahead with a birdie on the 29th hole, and won the next three holes. Nelson sealed a 4 and 3 triumph on the 33rd hole. Pressure may have been on Nelson's mind, but he registered impressive numbers, finishing 37 under par for the 204 holes he played in the Championship. Byrd was 14 under par in 197 holes. Neither player would ever again reach a PGA Championship match-play finals.

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