The British Open Championship format has changed to a three-hole aggregate-score event
Open Championship

The British Open Championship format has changed to a three-hole aggregate-score event

The British Open Championship became the first of the four major championships to move to an aggregate-score playoff, introducing the four-hole playoff that was introduced in 1986 and first played in 1989 when Mark Calcavecchia won his one and only major title.

However, in 2019, the R&A has changed the British Open Championship playoff format, shortening it from a four-hole aggregate-score playoff to a three-hole aggregate-score playoff. Now the playoffs for the British Open Championship and the PGA Championship are the same length.

The change begins at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland, where the playoff holes are Nos. 1, 13 and 18. Players in a playoff will complete all three holes, and the player with the lowest total score wins. In the event of a tie between two or more players in a playoff, they'll play in a sudden-death format until the Claret Jug winner is identified.

Before the four-hole playoff was created, the playoff was an 18-hole showdown (then sudden death) from 1964 to 1985. Before that, the playoff was a 36-hole matchup, which frankly now seems barbaric.

Prior to this change, each of the four men's majors had their own playoff formats. The Masters remains a sudden-death playoff, with the USGA moving in 2018 to a two-hole aggregate-score playoff.

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