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British Open Playoff: How the Four-Hole Aggregate Playoff Works

Photo: Jan Kruger/R&A

Will Henrik Stenson and Phil Mickelson need extra holes to see who brings home the claret jug?

The British Open is unique among the four majors because it's the only one that uses a four-hole aggregate playoff to decide its winner if two or more players are tied after 72 holes.

The Masters uses a sudden-death playoff, the PGA Championship has a three-hole aggregate playoff and the U.S. Open has an 18-hole playoff followed by sudden death. The British Open first used the four-hole aggregate system — which is the lowest total score of four extra holes — in 1989, when Mark Calcavecchia beat Wayne Grady and Greg Norman.

It's been used nine times in the Open's history, most recently last year at St. Andrews, when Zach Johnson (15) out-lasted Louie Oosthuizen (16) and Marc Leishman (18).

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