Tour News

USGA Ditches 18-hole Playoff for US Open

Brooks Koepka will defend his US Open title in June knowing that 18-hole Monday playoffs are no more. (Photo: USGA/Jeff Haynes)
This year's men's US Open will look a whole lot different if there's a playoff.

The US Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Senior Women’s Open - all run by the United States Golf Association (USGA) - will each adopt to a two-hole playoff format beginning in 2018.

USGA Executive Director Mike Davis said the decision was made following consultation with players, fans, administrators and television partners and was motivated by a desire to avoid Monday finishes in the event there is a tie after 72 holes of regulation play.

The change will significantly reduce the playoff format for the men's US Open which - if tied after 72 holes - has long used an 18-hole Monday playoff followed by sudden death to determine a champion.

“We know how important it is to everyone in the golf world to see play conclude on the Sunday of a major championship, and to award the trophy to the champion,” Davis said.

“After receiving input from a variety of constituents, including players, fans, volunteers, officials and our broadcast partners, it clearly came across as something that everyone valued, and would benefit from.”

The last time the US Open went to extra holes was Tiger Woods' win in 2008.

The U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open have each previously used a three-hole playoff format with the Women's Open most recently sent to extra holes in 2011 while the men's Senior Open last held a playoff in 2002.

"We’ve seen over the years how the aggregate playoff has served us well in both the U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open,” Davis added.

“Two holes will allow a player to recover from any single mistake, and at the same time, provide a memorable, and perhaps dramatic experience for all involved.”

Under the new USGA playoff format, if players remain tied after two holes, a sudden-death playoff will be used until a champion is determined.

In 117 previous stagings, the U.S. Open has had 33 playoffs, most recently at Torrey Pines in 2008 when Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate in sudden death after the pair remained tied following an 18-hole Monday playoff.

There have been 12 playoffs in U.S. Women’s Open history while the U.S. Senior Open has been sent to extra holes on six occasions.

The first USGA national open to adopt the two-hole playoff format will be the US Women's Open at Shoal Creek in Alabama from May 31-June 3.


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