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Should a six-man play-off be split into two groups?

Should a six-man play-off be split into two groups?

Two of our writers have very different opinions on how the extra holes should have been played out at the Turkish Airlines Open
 

The play-off for the Turkish Airlines Open saw six players feature for the first time in 16 years which brought about a shootout which was split into two groups. Eventually Tyrrell Hatton got the job done after four extra holes but was this the right way to go about things?

‘Two groups was clean and easy to follow what was happening’

While this is a job for those involved, sport is ultimately for the entertainment of the viewers and by splitting the players it benefited spectators on and off the course, writes Joe Hughes.

The European Tour were pushing it when they had a five-man play-off play as one group in Switzerland this year, this one was spot on.

The last time this occurred on tour in 2003 players were again split into two groups so I’m glad to see them stick with that.

I was watching on TV and thanks to the split Sky Sports were essentially able to cover this just like regular play which was smooth.

Had they have been tasked with covering a six-ball the coverage would have suffered.

With balls being fired literally left, right and centre from the tee the cameras just wouldn’t have been able to keep up with the second shots, at least not to any decent quality.

The same goes for the spectators at the course, there’s no way they’d have got the most out of their experience if they played in one group.

‘This was an opportunity missed for a dramatic shootout’

I’m not sure what the cut-off is for numbers in a play-off but six seems very doable in terms of getting it done in one group, writes Mark Townsend.

By playing it in two threes in Turkey it was all quite odd in the short term before three players quickly exited stage left after one hole.

Given the rarity of these types of things – the previous six-man shoot-out came in 2003 – it would have been cracking entertainment and the players would have been able to intimidate and be intimidated in equal measure. Which is precisely what you want in extra hole.

As it was one group was left to wait on the 18th tee for 20 minutes with the advantage of knowing what was needed which brings its own pros and cons.

Another downside is that we didn’t actually get to see some of the second shots from the back group given what was going on up ahead. Granted these were hack-outs or lay ups but this is a play-off for a whopping first prize of €1.8 million and enormous ranking points, one of the tour’s standout events, and it could have been an even more spectacular climax.

That said, the lights were good.

Mark Townsend

Been watching and playing golf since the early 80s and generally still stuck in this period. Huge fan of all things Robert Rock, less so white belts. Handicap of 8, fragile mind and short game

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