I know these guys are good, they’re armed with silly-great equipment, they’re playing a beautifully-maintained Medinah No. 3 and playing all of the par-5’s there as 5’s.
And scoring should absolutely not be a primary barometer to question the role of technology on skill given how many factors influence red numbers.
Still, in looking at the BMW Championship round one scoring, where only two of the 69 players finished over par and the field averaged 69.275 on the once fearsome layout, play at the 536-yard par-5 fifth almost reached a place I never thought possible: averaging under 4.0 on a par-5.
In round one, the 5th averaged 4.087, with 12 eagles, 39 birdies, 18 pars and no bogeys.
On the day, the field made 16 eagles, 296 birdies, 793 pars and 134 bogeys, with just three double bogeys.
As for comparisons to recent PGA Championships there, I’ve been unsuccessful finding the course stats. The PGA of America has bricked their website from functioning, so all links to past PGA Championship stats at Medinah are showing up in searches but not on their site. However, I did find this in my 2006 PGA wrap up post illustrating how tough Medinah was not that long ago:
Comparing the scoring average at Medinah Country Club 1999 and 2006
Year Rd 1 Rd 2 Rd 3 Rd 4 Cumulative 36-hole CUT
1999 73.557 73.336 73.581 73.781 73.524 146 (+2)/74 players
2006 72.723 72.591 72.071 73.186 72.635 144 (E)/71 players