Beat the streak: Berger just keeps breaking par
June 23, 2020
By Justin Ray, 15th Club for PGATOUR.COM
- June 23, 2020
- Daniel Berger extended his streak of consecutive rounds at par or better to 32 last week. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
On October 11, 2019, the Washington Nationals won Game 1 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals. Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs were 4-1, coming off their first loss of the season. The National Basketball Association was nearly two weeks from opening night.
That was also the day of Daniel Berger’s last over-par round in a PGA TOUR event.
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With four more rounds in the 60s at last week’s RBC Heritage, Berger extended his streak of consecutive rounds at par or better to 32. The Heritage also was Berger's fifth consecutive top-10, including a win at the first event after the season's hiatus (Charles Schwab Challenge) and T3 finish last week. He now ranks seventh in the FedExCup.
Berger is now two rounds from tying the longest streak of rounds at par or better in the past 17 years (Charles Howell III, 34 in a row in 2002-2003).
Since 1983, there have only been seven such streaks longer than Berger’s current run of 32. He still has a long way to go to catch the record, though. The longest run came in the halcyon days of Tiger Woods, when he rattled off a ridiculous 52 straight from late 2000 into 2001.
MOST CONSECUTIVE ROUNDS OF PAR OR BETTER Season(s) Name Streak 2000-01 Tiger Woods 52 2001-02 Fred Funk 38 1996-97 David Ogrin 35 2002-03 Charles Howell III 34 2000-01 Vijay Singh 34 2001-02 Kenny Perry 33 2019-20 Harris English 33 2019-20 Daniel Berger 32 2000-01 Phil Mickelson 31 Note: Since 1983
A few years ago, Berger looked poised to become one of the game’s great young stars. The former first-team All-American at Florida State was the PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year in 2015, winning the award over Justin Thomas. Berger advanced to the TOUR Championship in each of his first three seasons on the TOUR and made the U.S. Presidents Cup team in 2017. After battling wrist and hand injuries the last few seasons, he’s again one of the TOUR’s elite performers in 2019-2020.
Since Berger’s streak started, there are 205 different players with 16 or more rounds played on the PGA TOUR. Of that group, only Webb Simpson has a better scoring average than Berger during that span (67.9 to 68.2). Berger is a combined 81 under par during that span, trailing only Abraham Ancer (85 under) and Rory McIlroy (83 under). Only Tyrrell Hatton and Bryson DeChambeau have averaged more Strokes Gained: Total per round than Berger during this run (+1.75).
BERGER'S SCORING STATS DURING HIS STREAK Category Statistic Rank Scoring average 68.2 2nd Relation to par 81 under 3rd Rounds in the 60s 24 T3rd Strokes Gained: Total +1.75 T3rd
Berger’s success has come from a well-rounded performance all over the course.
Tee to green? During the streak, he’s ranked 10th in Greens in Regulation (70.7%) and eighth in Strokes Gained: Approach per round (+0.7). He’s a respectable 38th in Strokes Gained: Off-the-Tee.
How about putting? Berger ranked 108th on the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained: Putting (-0.04) a season ago. During the streak, he’s ranked eighth, gaining +0.61 strokes on the greens per round.
Since Berger's streak began at THE ZOZO Championship, only three players rank in the top 10 on the PGA TOUR in both Strokes Gained: Long Game (Off-the-Tee plus Approach) and Strokes Gained: Putting: Berger, Jon Rahm and Hatton.
BERGER'S STROKES GAINED RANKS DURING HIS STREAK Category Statistic Rank Tee-to-Green +1.14 8th Approach-the-Green +0.70 8th Putting +0.61 8th Long game* +0.95 9th * - Off-the-Tee + Approach-the-Green
Comparing Berger to some of his peers on the PGA TOUR is perhaps the best explanation of the streak’s scarcity.
On Sunday, he eclipsed the greatest streak of Phil Mickelson’s career (31 straight, 2000-2001). Jordan Spieth has never had a streak longer than 19, while Thomas’ longest run without a round over par is 24 in a row. Neither Dustin Johnson (career-long of 16) or McIlroy (19) have ever even got to 20 in their illustrious PGA TOUR careers.
Reaching Tiger’s mark of 52 in a row may be a tough task, but Berger is just two tournaments away (assuming he plays all four rounds in both) from becoming the second player to record 40 straight rounds of par or better on the PGA TOUR.
With relentless consistency, Berger is becoming a force to be accounted for every week he is in the field.