U.S. Open changes: USGA revamps playoff format from 18 holes on Monday

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So long, 18 holes of golf the Monday following the U.S. Open. The USGA announced on Monday that the playoff format for the U.S. Open will now be a two-hole aggregate score on Sunday instead of 18 holes of golf the following day.

“The U.S. Open has been played since 1895, and in that time period there have been 33 playoffs,” USGA CEO Mike Davis said. “They’ve always been 18 holes or even more. We decided after talking to a lot of stakeholders that golf really in this day and age, everybody wanted to see a Sunday finish.

“Based on that we’ve made a decision that we’re going to make that change for all four open champions we play. Starting this year we’ll go to a two-hole aggregate format.”

The U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Senior Women’s Open will all be two-hole aggregate playoffs, too.

The last time we saw a playoff at the second major of the year was in 2008 when Tiger Woods took down Rocco Mediate in 91 thrilling holes. Before that, Retief Goosen defeated Mark Brooks in a playoff in 2001, and Ernie Els beat Colin Montgomerie and Loren Roberts in a playoff in 1994 at Oakmont. Those are the only three playoffs in the last 25 years.

So now your major championship playoff formats will look like this.

I probably prefer some sort of aggregate greater than two holes. Three or four is fine, but I certainly prefer a two-hole playoff to 18 holes on Monday for a variety of reasons. Although it was unique to the U.S. Open and can be special, 18 holes between two players makes for poor viewing and often a letdown from the mania of Sunday.

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