There have been two scores of 59 this year on the PGA Tour. Can a 54 be far behind?
Fifty Four represents what many say is a perfect score in golf—the equivalent of a birdie on every hole. It seems impossible, but people once said the same thing about the four-minute mile. Roger Bannister is of course famous for his historic accomplishment of May 6, 1954. But others were flirting with the record. American Wes Santee ran 4:02.4 in 1953, while Australian John Landy ran 4:02.0. A year later, Landy ran 4:02.4 in Melbourne, then 4:02.6 on 23 February and at the end of the Australian season on 19 April, he ran 4:02.6 again.
Once Bannister broke the barrier, others followed. Landry broke Bannister’s record a mere 46 days later. Today, a four minute mile is a baseline for middle distance runners.
Other athletic achievements have had a similar history. So I think it’s entirely possible that we look back on this in a few years as the precursor to the perfect round.
I also find it interesting that we’ve had two 59s in a year that everyone said would be difficult because changes in the grooves. But thus far, that’s not holding out. The median score in 2010 is 70.95. In 2009, the median was 70.82.