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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 291
COVER STORY I n a nod towards contemporising more elements of the game, the United States Golf Association has abandoned a remnant from the past – the 18-hole Monday play-off – for all its Open championships, starting with the men’s US Open this week at Shinnecock Hills. Gone will be the days where playoff contestants need to gather again the following day to determine one of the great championships of the game, often in front of a modest group of spectators, media and viewing audiences – a vast contrast to the exciting climax of a Sunday afternoon finish. Replacing it will be a two-hole aggregate format, with players going on to sudden death holes to identify the champion if the deadlock remains. “Golf really in this day and age has gotten to the point where everyone wanted to see a Sunday finish,” said Mike Davis, Executive Director and CEO of the USGA, “And based on that, we’ve made the decision we’re going to make this change to all four Open championships that we play and starting this year, we are going to a two-hole aggregate playoff.” Under Davis’ stewardship, the governing body has taken transparent steps to appraise its thinking on long-held philosophies around its national championship pertaining to venue selection, course setup and agronomy. Together with the R&A, the governing bodies are also transitioning the rules of the game to position golf as a more attractive proposition in the modern, time-poor world. Traditionalists may argue but the playoff format decision is a victory for common sense and aligns perfectly with all of the above. The two-hole aggregate is now comparable with The Open Championship, which employs a four-hole aggregate approach first activated in 1989 at Royal Troon, when Mark Calcavecchia prevailed over the Australian duo of Wayne Grady and Greg Norman.
GA Express 290
GA Express 292 US Open wrap