USGA Revising Playoff Format For Their Open Championships

Jun 17, 2015; University Place, WA, USA; USGA flags on top of the first hole grandstand during practice rounds on Wednesday at Chambers Bay. Credit: Michael Madrid-USA TODAY Sports

LIBERTY CORNER, N.J. (Feb. 26, 2018) – The United States Golf Association (USGA) today announced a revised playoff format for all four of its Open Championships – the U.S. Open, U.S. Women’s Open, U.S. Senior Open and U.S. Senior Women’s Open. Each championship will implement a two-hole aggregate playoff in the event of a tie at the end of 72 holes of stroke play, effective with the 2018 season.

“We know how important it is to everyone in the golf world to see play conclude on theSunday of a major championship, and to award the trophy to the champion,” said USGA CEO/Executive Director Mike Davis, who made the announcement prior to online player registration for each USGA Open Championship, which opens next week. “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 playoff has served us well in both the U.S. Women’s Open and U.S. Senior Open,” Davis added. “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.”

In all four USGA Open Championships, the two-hole aggregate playoff will be used to break any ties after 72 holes of stroke-play competition. If the playoff results in a tie, the tied players would immediately continue to play off hole-by-hole (sudden-death format) until the champion is determined.

In its 117-year history, the U.S. Open has had 33 playoffs that have employed 18- and 36-hole formats. There have been 12 playoffs in U.S. Women’s Open history. A three-hole playoff was held for the first time in 2011. The U.S. Senior Open, which held a three-hole playoff for the first time in 2002, has had six playoffs in its championship history.

Online entry applications for 2018 USGA Open Championships will begin in the first week of March (

2018 USGA Open Championship Schedule

May 31-June 3  73rd U.S. Women’s Open, Shoal Creek, Shoal Creek, Ala.

June 14-17        118th U.S. Open, Shinnecock Hills Golf Club, Southampton, N.Y.

June 28-July 1   39th U.S. Senior Open, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colo.

July 12-15         1st U.S. Senior Women’s Open, Chicago Golf Club, Wheaton, Ill.

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