US Women's Open Playoff Format

One of the most prestigious tournaments of the women's golf calendar takes place at Lancaster Country Club, but what happens if the action needs extra holes?

Allisen Corpuz takes a tee shot at the US Women's Open
Allisen Corpuz won the trophy without a playoff in 2023
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The second women’s Major of the year takes place at Lancaster Country Club in Pennsylvania. The US Women’s Open is arguably the highest profile of all five Majors, and unsurprisingly, the great and the good of the game will be participating. 

Considering the strength of the field, which will include defending champion Allisen Corpuz and World No.1 Nelly Korda, a tight affair is expected as players try to lift the trophy and win the biggest slice of the record $12m prize money payout.

Because of that, it’s relatively likely that a playoff will be needed to decide the winner. So, how will the outcome of the tournament be determined if two or more players share the lead after 72 holes?

US Women’s Open Playoff Format

Annika Sorenstam with the US Women's Open trophy after her 2006 win

Annika Sorenstam was the last player to win a playoff in the 18-hole format

(Image credit: Getty Images)

In the past, an 18-hole playoff was held to determine the winner, but the last time that format was used was in 2006, when Annika Sorenstam eventually beat Pat Hurst by four shots. For over a decade, three-hole aggregate playoffs were introduced, before a two-hole aggregate playoff format began being used in 2018, which is still the case.

That means that, if two or more players need extra holes, they will playoff over two holes, with a leader then declared the winner. If players still need separating, they will continue over the same two holes until there’s a winner.

When Was The Last US Women’s Open Playoff?

Yuka Saso with the US Women's Open trophy

Yuka Saso beat Nasa Hataoka in a playoff in 2021

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The tournament has been decided by a playoff 10 times in its history, and the most recent came only three years ago, when Yuka Saso overcame the challenge of Nasa Hataoka on the third extra hole at San Francisco’s Olympic Club.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.