2019 U.S. Open playoff format, playoff rules, holes played

June 17, 2019

The U.S. Open playoff format is unique because every major championship has its own playoff rules regarding how to handle ties at the end of 72 holes. The Masters goes with sudden death, the PGA Championship uses a three-hole aggregate, and the British Open uses a four-hole aggregate. But what about the U.S. Open?

Not long ago, a tie at the U.S. Open meant another full day of golf on Monday: an 18-hole aggregate! (Who could forget the epic Monday finish between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate at TorreyPines in 2008?) But that U.S. Open playoff rule was changed last year.

Now, in the event of a tie at the end of regulation play, the U.S. Open playoff rules dictate that players will immediately continue to compete in a two-hole aggregate playoff, which means the player with the lowest two-hole total will claim the title.

“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,” said Mike Davis, CEO of the USGA, at the time of the announcement. “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.”

If this year’s championship at Pebble Beach ends in a tie after 72 holes, the players will play the par-3 17 and par-5 18. If they are still tied at the end of the two-hole aggregate, they will continue to play 17 and 18 over and over again until a champion is crowned.

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