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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.

Catch up with our #EPICMISSION!

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Michael McEwan is the Deputy Editor of bunkered and has been part of the team since 2004. In that time, he has interviewed almost every major figure within the sport, from Jack Nicklaus, to Rory McIlroy, to Donald Trump. The host of the multi award-winning bunkered Podcast and a member of Balfron Golfing Society, Michael is the author of three books and is the 2023 PPA Scotland 'Writer of the Year' and 'Columnist of the Year'. Dislikes white belts, yellow balls and iron headcovers. Likes being drawn out of the media ballot to play Augusta National.

Deputy Editor

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