What is the Masters play-off format?April 4, 2018
What happens if 72 holes isn't enough to separate the players at the top of the leaderboard?
It’s common for two or more players to tie for the lead after 72 holes. Augusta National has averaged a play-off every 3 years since the start of the millennium so it’s worth knowing what Masters play-off format is.
When was the last Masters play-off?
The last Masters play-off was in 2017 between Justin Rose and Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard forced a play-off with a fantastic back nine which included an eagle on the 15th hole.
The play-off was a an anti climax compared to the final round which was explosive with both players finishing on nine under par for the tournament.
Rose hit a tree with his drive on the 18th hole and didn’t have a shot into the green. The Englishman was forced to lay up and failed to make the up and down. Rose missed his par putt which would have put the pressure on Garcia.
With two putts to win the Masters, the Spaniard rolled in his birdie putt to win his maiden major at the 74th time of asking.
What is the current Masters play-off format?
From 1979 it was decided that the current format would be used instead of the old 18 hole play-off format. The last 18 hole play-off at Augusta was between Billy Casper and Gene Littler in 1970, Casper won by five strokes.
The current Masters play-off format is sudden death and it is the only major that uses the sudden death play-off format.
At Augusta the 18th and 10th holes for the play-off, alternating between the two until a player wins a hole and wins the tournament.
The 18th and 10th are chosen as the play-off holes because of their close proximity to each other, making it easy for fans to walk between should the players require to alternate between the two.
The old format used to be that players started on the 10th hole and played the back nine until a clear winner could be determined.