The US Open playoff format was changed for 2018...

What Is The US Open Playoff Format?

What is the US Open playoff format if, after the regulation 72 holes, we have a tie at the top of the leaderboard?

The answer used to be an 18 hole playoff. Assuming the tournament finishes on the Sunday, the players tied at the top would then come back the next day to play 18 more holes.

This last happened in 2008 when Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate played 18 extra holes on Monday at Torrey Pines but they tied at level par so had to go into sudden death.

Woods went on to win on the first extra hole.

Last year, however, the US Open playoff format underwent huge changes.

No longer is it an 18 hole playoff, to the delight of fans and broadcasters who all want the tournament to finish on the Sunday.

Starting from 2018, the US Open playoff format is two hole aggregate.

That means that the players tied for the lead go out and play two holes, with the leading player after the two holes crowned champion.

It then goes to sudden death if players are still tied.

This is still unique to the other majors which all have different playoff formats of their own.

The Masters has sudden death, The Open has a four hole aggregate and the USPGA has three hole aggregate.

In 2017, USGA chief executive Mike Davis appeared to hint that there are no plans to tweak the old 18 hole Monday playoff.

“I don’t think in the foreseeable future you will see a change in the 18-hole US Open playoff.”

He went on to talk about the 1994 playoff at Oakmont between Ernie Els, Colin Montgomerie and Loren Roberts as an example why the format works.

“What’s interesting is if we had a sudden-death playoff one player would have won, if it’s a three hole playoff another player would have won. But over 18 holes, Ernie Els was the best player that day, and we think there’s something to that.”

However, something clearly changed and the tournament now features a two hole aggregate playoff if necessary.