R&A makes major change to this year’s Open

Claret Jug

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.

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Prior to that, the championship used both 18 and 36-hole playoffs at different times.

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.

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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.

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