Leaving mainland Great Britain won’t be the only decades-old tradition this month’s Open will dispense with.
The championship’s organisers the R&A have today announced that, if required, the battle for the Claret Jug – which gets underway in less than a fortnight at Royal Portrush – will be decided by a three-hole aggregate play-off.
This breaks from the four-hole play-off format that has been used in golf’s oldest professional tournament since 1989.
Prior to that, the championship used both 18 and 36-hole playoffs at different times.
The 148th Open will have a three hole play-off If needed that will be the first of its kind— The Open (@TheOpen) July 5, 2019
We will play the 1st, 13th & 18th pic.twitter.com/xnW9lcH9Of
If required, the three extra holes at Royal Portrush – which stages the championship for only the second time and the first since 1961 – will comprise the first, 13th and 18th holes.
A play-off has been used to settle the Open on 21 occasions, most recently in 2015 when Zach Johnson outlasted Marc Leishman and Louis Oosthuizen to win his second major at a weather-affected St Andrews.