Players playoff format: What you need to know

May 11, 2017

The Players Championship loves to bring the drama with its playoff format.

If two or more golfers are tied after 72 holes at the Players, they head to a three-hole aggregate playoff. It is one of just two tournaments on Tour that implement this format (the other being the PGA Championship). The three holes involved are the par-5 16th, par-3 17th and par-4 18th. If still tied, the format changes to sudden death and moves to the 17th (then moves to the 18th, 16th, 17th and back to the 18th, and continues unti a winner).

The Players playoff format used to begin with sudden death on the 17th, but it was changed to its current three-hole aggregate playoff in 2014. Water is in play with all three playoff holes. The 16th can be reached in two and gives players a shot at eagle, the 17th is the course’s iconic and diabolical island green, and water hugs the entire left side of the 18th.

There has been one playoff since the change in 2014, when Rickie Fowler dispatched Kevin Kisner and Sergio Garcia to win the Players in 2015. Fowler and Kisner tied after the three-hole aggregate playoff, but Fowler beat Kisner with a birdie on the 17th, the first sudden death playoff hole.