U.S. Open playoff format: How it works in the event of a tie

bryson dechambeau stands and watches during the 2024 u.s. open

Bryson DeChambeau is hoping to claim his second U.S. Open title.

Getty Images

The leaders at the 2024 U.S. Open are coming down the back nine, and it’s turned into a two-man race.

Bryson DeChambeau, the 54-hole leader, still holds a piece of the lead, but thanks to some stellar putting from a fellow former U.S. Open champ, he’s not alone. Rory McIlroy, who won this championship in 2011, has chased down DeChambeau and has tied the lead with only a few holes to play.

In the event of a tie after regulation, the two will need a playoff to determine the winner. Check out below for more on how the U.S. Open playoff format works.

U.S. Open playoff format

If a playoff were to be needed at Pinehurst, it would be a first for the U.S. Open since 2008. That summer, Tiger Woods bested Rocco Mediate in a Monday playoff after the two finished tied after 72 holes. Back then, the USGA still used an 18-hole playoff format. Nowadays, they make things a little more simple.

Since 2018, the USGA has implemented a two-hole aggregate playoff format in the event of a tie after 72 holes, ensuring a champion would be crowned by Sunday evening.

We know how important it is to everyone in the golf world to see play conclude on the Sunday of a major championship, and to award the trophy to the champion,” said then-USGA CEO Mike Davis. “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.”

If the golfers featured in a playoff finish the two extra holes tied, then it will be sudden death from then on.

Which holes will be used for a playoff?

In the event of a tie, holes 17 and 18 will be utilized for the two-hole playoff. The two finishing holes have played as the seventh and 14th most difficult holes, respectively, for the week thus far.

How have the contenders played 17 & 18 this week?

So far this week, DeChambeau has played the two potential playoff holes slightly better than McIlroy. Their round-by-round results are below.

Rd 1. – Par, Birdie
Rd. 2 – Par, Par
Rd. 3 – Bogey, Par

Rd. 1 – Par, Birdie
Rd. 2 – Par, Birdie
Rd. 3 – Birdie, Par

Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with the Texas Golf Association, Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf. He can be reached at zephyr_melton@golf.com.

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