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USGA says goodbye to 18-hole playoffs at the U.S. Open

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The next time the U.S. Open is decided in a playoff, you won’t have to tune in Monday. You also won’t have to watch 18 holes of golf. Starting this year, the USGA is scrapping the round-long Monday playoff for a two-hole aggregate playoff.

All four of the USGA’s Open championships will feature the two-hole aggregate format (followed by a sudden-death playoff if players are tied).

“We know how important it is for 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 USGA executive director Mike Davis. “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.”

“I could have used this rule change in 2008,” you can hear Tiger Woods saying. There hasn’t been an 18-hole playoff since a hobbled Woods defeated Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines a decade ago.

“There is no right or wrong way to determine a winner in stroke play, but 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 said. “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.”

The playoff formats for each of the four majors are now as follows.

  • Masters: Sudden-death
  • U.S. Open: 2-hole aggregate score
  • Open Championship: 4-hole aggregate score
  • PGA Championship: 3-hole aggregate score

Here’s Davis explaining the changes in a bit of #OriginalContent from the USGA.

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9 Comments

9 Comments

  1. Sam the Loaf

    Mar 3, 2018 at 8:31 pm

    The USGA messed up again. Players at the highest level need to play a 36 hole qualifier, 72 hole regulation on three different courses with a 36 hole playoff on an entirely new course. That would separate the men from the boys.

  2. dat

    Mar 2, 2018 at 2:19 pm

    I can’t blame them. The USGA needs to do everything possible to get their tournament in order after the last two years.

  3. Happyday_J

    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:57 pm

    Personally I think all Majors should be multiple holes, but the key is:
    One dogleg left, one right and either a straight hole or par 3 (if a 3rd hole).

    This way you don’t have a playoff hole that may favour a player with a certain shot shape. I feel this happened in the 2017 Masters, 18th hole set up for a cut, Sergio’s bread and butter, while Rose favours a draw.

    Just seems silly that a golfer is tested with all different shapes and shots throughout the day, while it can get decided by one type of hole.

    Two holes work , as long as they alternate directions. I think the Masters should go to this, play 18 and 10.

  4. Travis

    Feb 26, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    I would have liked to see a 3 or 4 hole playoff like the Open and PGA. 3-4 holes usually allows (typically) for a Par 5, Par 3, and two Par 4’s. That way, no certain type of player has an advantage on any particular type of hole, and any player can come through. Two holes seems a little too short for something as important as a Major Championship to be decided on…

    • Simms

      Feb 27, 2018 at 10:26 am

      The better player is going to come through on the first hole…..

  5. Speedy

    Feb 26, 2018 at 7:23 pm

    I’m for Nine & Dine.

  6. Acemandrake

    Feb 26, 2018 at 5:28 pm

    It used to be a 36-hole playoff.

    • Josh

      Feb 26, 2018 at 7:21 pm

      That clearly was too much as they shortened it. Now they’re shortening it again. Very surprised to see 2 holes decided upon as there’s already precedent for 3-hole playoffs (The Open) and 4-hole playoffs (PGA)

      • ROY

        Feb 27, 2018 at 10:47 am

        well guess thats why they did 2 – USGA cant copy anyone….

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Equipment

Charles Howell III’s winning WITB: 2018 RSM Classic

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Driver: Titleist TS3 (10.5 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Tensei AV Blue 65

Fairway woods: Titleist TS2 (15, 21 degrees)
Shafts: Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 8X, Fujikura ATMOS Tour Spec Black 9X

Irons: Titleist 718 T-MB 4-iron, Titleist 718 AP2 (5-7), Titleist 718 CB (8-PW)
Shafts: Project X LZ 6.5 (hard stepped)

Wedges: Vokey SM7 (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold S400

Putter: TaylorMade Spider Tour Red

Grips: Golf Pride Tour Velvet Align

Ball: Titleist Pro V1 (proto)

SEA ISLAND, GA – NOVEMBER 17: Charles Howell lll tees off on the eighth hole tee box during the third round of The RSM Classic at the Sea Island Resort Seaside Course on November 17, 2018 in Sea Island, Georgia. (Photo by Ben Jared/PGA TOUR)

RELATED: See what members are saying about CH III’s equipment in the forums.

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Equipment

Danny Willett’s Winning WITB: DP World Tour Championship

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Driver: Callaway Rogue (9 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 60x

3-wood: Callaway Rogue Fairway Wood (15 degrees)
Shaft: Mitsubishi Diamana W 70X

Irons: Callaway X Forged Utility Irons (18, 21, 24 degrees), Callaway X Forged 18 Irons (5-9)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold X100 Superlite

Wedges: Callaway Mack Daddy Forged PW (48 degrees), Callaway Mack Daddy 4 Wedges (54, 58 degrees)
Shafts: True Temper Dynamic Gold

Putter: Odyssey Prototype (Stroke Lab)

Ball: Chrome Soft X

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Equipment

Lee Westwood’s winning WITB: 2018 Nedbank Golf Challenge

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Driver: Ping G400 LST (10 degrees) (D6)
Shaft: Veylix Rome 60 X Tip 1”, 45.25″

3-wood: Ping G400 (14.5 degrees) (D3)
Shaft: Aldila Phenom 70X, 43″

Hybrid: Ping G (19 degrees) (D2+)
Shaft: Aldila ATX Tour Green 85X, 40.5”

Irons: Ping i210 4-PW, UW (50 degrees) UW (54 degrees) (Std length, Blue color code, D0+)
Shafts: Ping JZ Stiff

Wedges: Ping Glide Forged (60 degrees)
Shaft: JZ Stiff

Putter: Ping Sigma 2 Fetch 35”
Grip: PING Pistol Sigma 2 PP60

Grips: Lamkin Crossline Full Cord (+1 wrap) on woods, PING Id8 Half Cord on irons

Ball: Titleist ProV1x

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