With golf fans, TV broadcasters and many pro golfers pushing for a Sunday result, the US Open will ditch their traditional Monday 18-hole playoff.
The USGA have announced that the US Open will no longer be decided with an 18-hole playoff instead opting to decide the tournament with a 2-hole aggregate format. This brings the major more into line with The Open and PGA Championships which are each decided by 4 and 3-hole aggregate playoffs respectively.
If players are still tied for the lead at the US Open after the two aggregate playoff holes then it will move to a sudden-death format until a winner is decided.
The Masters Tournament is the only major golf tournament that is decided by sudden-death format only.
The US Open thankfully hasn’t needed an 18-hole Monday playoff since Tiger Woods won his last major in 2008 when he defeated Rocco Mediate by USGA CEO Mike Davis said the change was a proactive one and expanded a little on why they chose two-holes.
“There was a time when they did make sense before television, before the modern era of wanting everything decided immediately,” said Davis. “There is no right or wrong way to determine a winner in stroke play but we’ve seen over the years how the aggregate play-off has served us well in both the US Women’s Open and US Senior Open.”
“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.”
Geoff Shackelford had some interesting thoughts on the reason for this move and questioned whether three or four holes was probably a better way to go.
“Given that 18-hole Monday playoffs were kept in place because of the championship’s importance, this declaration that the U.S. Open is using one less hole than the PGA or Players–and two holes fewer than The Open–subtly diminishes the stature of the U.S. Open. Given how satisfying the three-hole aggregate has been as an ideal solution between the vagaries of sudden death and the excess of returning on a Monday, this can only be chalked up to a decision in the best interests of an entity other than the U.S. Open.”