USGA agrees to scrap 18-hole playoffs at US Open

Let’s face it, nobody wants to come back on Monday…not even for a major championship. Most ‘regular’ people have to go to work – and the players have to head to their next tournament.

So a move by the USGA to scrap the 18-hole playoff when players finish tied at the top in a US Open has at last been scrapped.

USGA agrees to scrap 18-hole playoffs at US Open USGA agrees to scrap 18-hole playoffs at US Open

Fans will applaud the decision to instead employ a two-hole aggregate format as the playoff method.

Certainly that brings the major more into line with the British Open (four-hole aggregate) and the US PGA Championship (three-hole aggregate) which are currently their chosen ways to decide the winner of that particular major championship.

And 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.

That gives the fans, the media, the TV crews and the players the chance to “get it done” before they head home that night.

Now only the first major of the year, the US Masters is decided by sudden-death.

Mind you, it’s been 10 years since we have actually needed an 18-hole playoff to decide the US Open.

That was between the veteran Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods.

Then there was also that memorable clash between Greg Norman and Fuzzy Zoeller and the white-towel waving when they played at Winged Foot when it hosted the US Open in 1984. I also recall Hale Irwin sending Mike Donald into oblivion with an 18-hole playoff win in 1990.

USGA CEO Mike Davis said the change was a pro-active one:

“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 strokeplay 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.”