Less than a handful of strokes separate U.S. Open leader Gary Woodland from Brooks Koepka, Justin Rose, and Louis Oosthuizen. Should there be a tie at the end of the 72nd hole, the 2019 edition of the U.S. Open will be decided via a playoff.
Though the last three U.S. Open playoffs have been decided with an 18-hole fifth round on Monday – most recently in 2008, when a hobbled Tiger Woods won his 14th major – followed by sudden-death if needed, that won’t be the case this year.
Last year, the U.S. Open adopted the two-hole aggregate playoff, meaning that the tied golfers will compete on only two holes the same day. Should they still be tied after the two holes, the golfers will then go to sudden-death.
The U.S. Open is the last major to get rid of an 18-hole playoff. The Masters uses sudden death, the PGA Championship has a three-hole aggregate and the British Open does a four-hole playoff.
As of writing, Gary Woodland leads the field at minus-13 and and is minus-2 on the day through five holes. Hot on his heels is Brooks Koepka, who is only two strokes behind him and has surged with four birdies through six holes.
Also remaining in contention are Rose at minus-10 and Oosthuizen at minus-9. Both are still on the front nine.
The last U.S. Open playoff was contested in 2008 between Tiger Woods and Rocco Mediate. The two golfers went even par after 18 holes, but Woods won sudden death on the first hole.
It’s been a highly competitive U.S. Open, and one that might not be decided until the final couple of holes.
The U.S. Open is currently airing on FOX.