U.S. Open to drop 18-hole play-offs

There will no longer be 18-hole play-offs in the U.S. Open, with the USGA eager for champions to be crowned on a Sunday.

Rocco Mediate and Tiger Woods at the 2008 U.S. Open   -  Getty Images

The United States Golf Association (USGA) has confirmed it is ditching 18-hole play-offs at the U.S. Open.

Speaking on Monday, USGA executive director Mike Davis revealed the format will be dropped immediately in favour of a two-hole aggregate play-off, citing the need for swift conclusions to tournaments.

It has been 10 years since the last 18-hole play-off in the U.S. Open, when an injury-stricken Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate in a dramatic additional day.

"We know how important it is for everyone in the golf world to see play conclude on the Sunday of a major championship, and to award the trophy to the champion," Davis was quoted as saying by the Golf Channel.

"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 tie 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.

"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."

The change comes into effect for all of the USGA's Open championships, including the U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills in June.

All four majors still have differing play-off formats. The Masters is decided by a sudden-death play-off if there is a tie after 72 holes, as was the case when Sergio Garcia edged out Justin Rose last April.

The US PGA Championship and Open Championship opt for respective three- and four-hole play-offs.