Sport 2018 U.S. Open preview: 2-hole playoff format breaks with tradition, keeps with times

18:35  10 june  2018
18:35  10 june  2018 Source:   golfweek.com

Wie has 'a blast' - and 3-under 69 - at US Women's Open

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The USGA has shifted its U . S . Open playoff format from 18 holes to a 2 - hole , aggregate score playoff , beginning in 2018 . But that has all changed. On Monday, Mike Davis, Executive Director of the USGA, announced that beginning in 2018 , ties will be broken with a two - hole aggregate playoff

In a major break with tradition , the U . S . Golf Association announced Monday it has done away with the 18- hole playoff at the U . S . Open and instead will have a two - hole aggregate tiebreaker. If players are still tied after two extra holes the play - off will become sudden death. The last time the US Open

an old photo of Sam Snead: Associated Press© Associated Press Associated Press

The U.S. Open has been golf's most demanding major championship all the way back to 1895 when the first winner - Horace Rawlins - required 173 strokes over four tours of Newport Country Club's nine-hole layout. Famous for narrow fairways, ferocious rough and ice-rink greens, America's national Open always has been more akin to a triathlon than a 100-meter dash for its competitors.

Overtime wasn't easy time, either. Playoffs have always involved an extra day for extra holes, since at least 18 were required. It used to be 36 holes - and once even went a marathon 72 holes - but since 1947 a fifth round has been the minimum ask of combatants in extra innings.

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But the USGA, which steadfastly refuses to adopt lift, clean and place as an accommodation during rain-soaked championships, made a clean break from tradition this time , recognizing the attraction of “Hey, I loved the 18- hole playoff . It was fun,” said 1987 U . S . Open champion Scott Simpson

Starting in 2018 , ties will be broken with a 2️⃣ - hole aggregate playoff in all USGA Open championships:#USWomensOpen☑@usopengolf ☑# There have been 33 career playoffs since the U . S . Open became an event and they have all been under the 18 hole playoff format .

No more. Playoff victories won't get any easier, but they will come a lot sooner.

In February the U.S. Golf Association brought to an end a tradition as old as the organization itself, announcing the U.S. Open playoff format would become a two-hole aggregate affair, followed by sudden death if the players remain tied.

The change reflected the twin demands of broadcast realities and fan attention spans, neither of which is inclined toward long form.

"Golf really in this day and age has gotten to the point where everyone wanted to see a Sunday finish," said Mike Davis, the USGA's executive director and CEO. "And based on that, we've made the decision we're going to make this change to all four Open championships that we play."

The new format also applies to the U.S. Women's Open, the U.S. Senior Open and the U.S. Senior Women's Open.

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usga scraps 18 hole playoff format for u s open news y94 . 2018 to bring new playoff format for u s open championships . justin thomas shoots 63 breaks record for lowest score relative to . us open golf tournament fast facts cnn . discover the thrilling us open golf winners history .

In a video announcement in February, the USGA said it is ditching its 18- hole playoff for U . S . Open competitions starting in 2018 . The governing body announced in February that it is ditching its 18- hole playoff format for its Open Diaz: Can Tiger and the Knee Do It One More Time ?

"There is no right or wrong way to determine a tie in stroke play. 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," Davis said.

The change places the U.S. Open more in step with the other majors. The British Open employs a four-hole aggregate playoff, and the PGA Championship goes three extra three holes. Only the Masters uses sudden death.

"The new playoff is good," said Curtis Strange, the two-time U.S. Open winner who bested Nick Faldo by four in a playoff in 1988 at The Country Club. "Good for players, fans, viewers, volunteers, Fox TV and the overall finality of an event."

"I don't know if I like it," said Brad Faxon, who will call the action at Shinnecock Hills this year for Fox Sports. "The Masters' sudden-death format is certainly exciting but a lot of times not fair."

Faxon played in 18 U.S. Opens and remains one of the game's traditionalists.

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U . S . Open Golf 2018 . The USGA has held firm in upholding the tradition of a full 18- hole playoff to decide a champion if there is a tie Sunday evening. It's not ideal for television or the modern sports fan who invests time watching on Sunday and wants a resolution.

Golf DigestFebruary 26, 2018 . That was precisely the sentiment I felt when the USGA announced Monday that it was ending its traditional 18- hole playoff in the U . S . Open in favor of a two - hole aggregate format .

"It's interesting changing what was so radically different from every other championship," he said. "It's understandable how finishing on Sunday works for a society that wants instant gratification, but the USGA has always been unique even when not popular."

There have been 33 playoffs in U.S. Open history. The last was 10 years ago at Torrey Pines, when 18 holes weren't enough to separate Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate. They deadlocked after the playoff round before Woods won on the first hole of sudden death for his 14th - and to date, last - major victory.

What drama the new format supplies going forward remains to be seen. But "It's A Wonderful Life" enthusiasts can find amusement in wondering how different the honor roll of the Open would look had a two-hole aggregate playoff been used since the days of gutta-percha (an admittedly meaningless exercise that cannot account for how players might have performed in such circumstances).

Harry Vardon, Francis Ouimet posing for a photo: FILE - American golfer Francis B. Ouimet, center, shakes hands with Harry Vardon, left, and Ted Ray, both of Britain, at the U.S. Open Golf Championship at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., in this 1913 file photo. Ouimet defeated the pair to become the new champion. In the tough, rainy conditions at Brookline, Ouimet played his best golf. He shot 72, while Vardon had a 78 and Ray shot 79. The gallery was among the biggest ever in America for a golf tournament, and it was hailed as one of the biggest upsets in sport.© Associated Press FILE - American golfer Francis B. Ouimet, center, shakes hands with Harry Vardon, left, and Ted Ray, both of Britain, at the U.S. Open Golf Championship at The Country Club in Brookline, Mass., in this 1913 file photo. Ouimet defeated the pair to become the new champion. In the tough, rainy conditions at Brookline, Ouimet played his best golf. He shot 72, while Vardon had a 78 and Ray shot 79. The gallery was among the biggest ever in America for a golf tournament, and it was hailed as one of the biggest upsets in sport.

Fourteen of those 33 playoffs would have resulted in a different champion and denied us some of the championship's most iconic achievements. Francis Ouimet would have lost to Harry Vardon in 1913, ensuring "The Greatest Game Ever Played" would not have been made and leaving Golf Channel with untold hours of airtime to fill. Nor would Ben Hogan have won his celebrated comeback Open at Merion in 1950.

Ariya Jutanugarn wins U.S. Women’s Open in playoff after blowing 7-shot lead

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Preview 2018 . Second playoff hole : No. 10: The long par-4 has been the deciding hole four times in Masters playoffs . In recent years, Angel Cabrera and Bubba Watson won on this hole under the current format where playoffs begin at No. 18.

The USGA used to have an 18- hole playoff for the U . S . Women’ s Open , but in 2007 they opted to change that to a three- hole aggregate. U . S . Open : Tee times | Full coverage. “What’s interesting is if we had a sudden-death playoff one player 2018 U . S . Open sectional results: Who's in, who's out.

That one goes to Lloyd Mangrum over Hogan and George Fazio. And Ernie Els would have one less major trophy in his cabinet: Loren Roberts would have emerged from the three-way fight at Oakmont in 1994 that also included Colin Montgomerie.

One legend might have been happier, though. Sam Snead, second only to Phil Mickelson as the Open's unluckiest loser with four runner-up finishes, would have won his only missing leg of the career Grand Slam in 1947.

Instead he lost to Lew Worsham. (see photo above)

But the names of U.S. Open champions are etched and won't be erased.

Even if Shinnecock Hills delivers a dramatic Sunday evening playoff, purists will still conjecture about who might have emerged from the intense crucible of 18 holes Monday afternoon. The players themselves might wonder, too. But few will mourn the delayed satisfaction of crowning a winner as golf takes another step toward reshaping the game for the modern world, Faxon concedes.

"My perception is that given the USGA's adaptation of several new rules to make golf more hip, popular or faster, the new two-hole playoff is following suit," he said. Gwk

(Note: This story appears in the June 2018 issue of Golfweek.)

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Watch: Graeme McDowell gets awful break at US Open, and all he can do is laugh .
Sometimes laughing something off is the only thing that will keep you sane. That's certainly a feeling not unfamiliar to competitors in the U.S. Open, and Graeme McDowell can relate.The Northern Irishman was playing Shinnecock Hills' monster 252-yard par-3 second during Thursday's opening round of the U.S. Open and appeared to be in OK position by hitting his tee shot in a greenside bunker. He then blasted out, hitting a shot right at the flag.What happened next was one of the unluckiest breaks you'll ever see.

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