A closer look at lengthy, sudden-death playoffs on the PGA Tour

By T.J. Auclair
Published on
A closer look at lengthy, sudden-death playoffs on the PGA Tour

Sudden-death playoffs on the PGA Tour are not a rarity. 
But what has happened over the last three weeks certainly is.
For just the third time since 2000, the Tour has seen three, multi-hole playoffs in three straight weeks. 
Check out this tweet from Golf Channel stat guru, Justin Ray:
The latest spilled into Monday. Jason Day and Alex Noren were unable to beat the darkness in La Jolla, California, at Torrey Pines on Sunday and had to return on Monday for the sixth hole of their sudden-death playoff (Ryan Palmer was eliminated on the first sudden-death hole on Sunday). 
Jason Day would win on that sixth playoff hole.
From 2002-2017, the PGA Tour saw just two tournaments with six or more playoff holes:
- The 2012 Mayakoba Golf Classic, where John Huh topped Robert Allenby on the eighth playoff hole.
- The 2011 Open, where Bryce Molder beat Briny Baird on the sixth playoff hole.
Note: Tiger Woods defeated Rocco Mediate at Torrey Pines in the 2008 U.S. Open and it required 91 holes -- the standard, 18-hole Monday playoff, plus one additional "sudden-death" hole.
For more perspective, check out this stat, courtesy of Ray:
Here are the two in the last three weeks of 2018:
- The Sony Open, where Patton Kizzire became the 2017-18 PGA Tour season's multiple tournament winner after he took down James Hahn on the sixth hole of a playoff.
- The Farmers Insurance Open, where Jason Day edged out Alex Noren and picked up his first win in 20 months on the sixth hole of the playoff.
In the 2017-18 PGA Tour season, there have been five sudden-death playoffs in 12 events. Here they are:
- The CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges, Justin Thomas beat Marc Leishman on the second playoff hole.
- Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Patrick Cantlay defeated Alex Cejka and Whee Kim on the second playoff hole. 
- The Sony Open, Patton Kizzire beat James Hahn on the sixth playoff hole.
- CareerBuilder Challenge, Jon Rahm beat Andrew Landry on the fourth playoff hole.
- Farmers Insurance Open, Jason Day beat Alex Noren on the sixth playoff hole.
Here's a look at the most playoffs in a PGA Tour season:
2011-12: 18
2014-15: 17
1988, 1991: 16
1972: 15
2004: 14