The Open Championship will have a slightly different playoff format this year.

What Is The Open Championship Playoff Format?

This year’s Open at Royal Portrush is dissimilar to tournaments of recent years, because the Royal & Ancient recently announced they have reduced the number of holes in a playoff from four holes, to three.

This is a break away from the four-hole format that had been used in the Open Championship since 1989.

In the event of a tie after four rounds, the winner will be decided by a play-off by stroke play over three holes. The play-off will start as soon as practicable after the last competitors have finished their round.

The competitor with the lowest aggregate over the three extra holes will be declared the winner.

At Royal Portrush the playoff will take place on the 1st, 13th and 18th holes with the best aggregate score taking the title.

If the competitors are still tied having played these three holes, a hole by hole play-off will be played immediately over the 18th hole until a winner emerges.

If the play-off involves more than 2 competitors, those other than the winner will be deemed to have tied for 2nd place regardless of their scores in the play-off. (3) The starting field will be 156 competitors.

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There have been some notable playoffs in the past in the four-hole format such as the ones below.

In 1999 Paul Lawrie won the Open Championship at Carnoustie following a four-hole play-off with Justin Leonard and Jean van de Velde.

Lawrie shot even par, while the other two were both three over par.

In 2007 Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a four-hole playoff to win his first Claret Jug – he shot level par compared to Garcia’s one over.

There have been 21 Open playoffs in all with the most recent coming at St Andrews in 2015.

Zach Johnson eventually triumphed over four holes beating Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman.

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