Boasting what is arguably the best three-hole finish in golf, The Players and the Stadium Course at TPC Sawgrass had, for 40 years, chosen to contest its four previous playoffs in sudden-death fashion. Starting in 2014, that will no longer be true.
On Wednesday, PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem announced a change to The Players playoff format, making it an aggregate three-hole playoff contested on holes 16-18 at the Stadium Course.
Finchem said the Tour had been considering the change for some time, but felt the enhanced relationship with NBC and Golf Channel made the potential to air the playoff after the allotted network TV window more palatable for sponsors and fans. Finchem also noted a 16-stroke swing in the lowest score ever recorded in that closing stretch -- 4 under par -- and the highest -- 12 over par.
The last Players playoff came in 2011, when K.J. Choi topped David Toms on the first hole of sudden death on the par-3 17th hole. Before then, Sergio Garcia won the 2008 Players in similar fashion, toppling Paul Goydos on the 17th when Goydos dunked his tee shot in the water surrounding the green.