U.S. Women' s Open Adopts Three-Hole Playoff Format In 2007
February 2, 2007
Far Hills, N.J. - Beginning in 2007, the playoff format for the U.S. Women's Open will be changed to a three-hole aggregate total immediately following the end of regulation play, the United States Golf Association has announced. The decision was made by a vote of the Executive Committee at the USGA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
The 2007 Women's Open is scheduled from June 28-July 1 at Pine Needles Lodge and Golf Club in Southern Pines, N.C.
Until this year, those tied after 72 holes faced an 18-hole playoff the day after regulation play to determine the national champion. There have been 10 such playoffs in the 61-year history of the Women's Open, the most recent coming last year at Newport (R.I.) Country Club when Annika Sorenstam defeated Pat Hurst to win her third Women's Open title.
The first of the USGA's Open championships to move away from an 18-hole playoff was the U.S. Senior Open. In 1999, the USGA instituted a multiple-hole playoff format for that championship. It has been needed only once since - in 2002, when Don Pooley outlasted Tom Watson over a three-hole sequence and two extra holes at Caves Valley Golf Club in Baltimore, Md.
The Women's Open playoff champion would be determined by the lowest total score over three predetermined holes. If the players are still tied, extra holes would be played one by one until a deadlock is broken.
"This makes sense for the players, fans, volunteers, vendors, the general media and our broadcast partners regarding the Women's Open," said USGA President Walter Driver.
Every other professional woman's tournament uses a sudden-death format. The only championship in all of golf that remains decided by an 18-hole playoff is the U.S. Open. There are currently no plans to alter that 18-hole playoff format in case of a tie at the end of 72 holes.
The USGA is the national governing body of golf in the United States and Mexico. These nations together comprise more than half the world's golfers and courses. The Association's most visible role is conducting 13 national championships, including the Open, Women's Open and Senior Open. Ten additional USGA national championships are exclusively for amateurs, and include the U.S. Amateur and the U.S. Women's Amateur.
The USGA also writes the Rules of Golf, conducts equipment testing, maintains an official Handicap System and administers an ongoing "For the Good of the Game" grants program, which has allocated more than $53 million over the last 10 years to programs that seek to grow the game. For more information about the USGA, visit www.usga.org .