US Open abandons 18-hole play-offs

From June the USGA will adopt a two-hole play-off if needed

 Tiger Woods celebrates with the trophy after winning his play-off against Rocco Mediate in 2008. Photograph: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

Tiger Woods celebrates with the trophy after winning his play-off against Rocco Mediate in 2008. Photograph: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

 

June’s US Open will have a new two-hole play-off in the event of a tied finish after the USGA abandoned its 18-hole, next-day format.

The move, which comes into force immediately, brings the tournament into line with the governing body’s other events the US Women’s Open and both Senior Opens.

“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 USGA chief executive officer/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.

“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.”

If the players are still tied after their two extra holes the play-off moves to sudden death until a winner is decided.

In its 117-year history, the US Open has had 33 play-offs that have employed 18 and 36-hole formats.

The last came in 2008 when Tiger Woods memorably won the last of his 14 majors by defeating Rocco Mediate effectively on one leg after being impeded by a double stress fracture of his left tibia which - along with surgery to repair his anterior cruciate ligament - ended his season two days later.

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