The Open Championship will have a slightly different playoff format this year.

What Is The Open Championship Playoff Format?

2019’s Open Championship was dissimilar to other tournaments of recent years because the Royal & Ancient announced they reduced the number of holes in a playoff from four holes, to three.

This was a break away from the four-hole format that had been used in the Open Championship since 1989.

It appears this has not continued in 2021 at Royal St George’s.

In the event of a tie after four rounds, the winner will be decided by a play-off by stroke play over four holes. The play-off will start as soon as practicable after the last competitors have finished their round.

The competitor with the lowest aggregate over the four extra holes will be declared the winner.

We are yet to confirm which four holes will be the ones selected for the Open Championship.

The player with the lowest aggregate over the extra holes will be declared the winner. If the players are still tied having played these extra holes, a hole-by-hole play-off will be played immediately over the 18th hole only until a winner emerges.

If the play-off involves more than 2 players, those other than the winner will be deemed to have tied for 2nd place regardless of their scores in the play-off.

Related: Open Championship TV Coverage 2021

Watson congratulates Cink in 2009 (Getty Images)

There have been some notable playoffs in the past in the four-hole format such as the ones below.

In 1999 Paul Lawrie won the Open Championship at Carnoustie following a four-hole play-off with Justin Leonard and Jean van de Velde.

Lawrie shot even par, while the other two were both three over par.

In 2007 Padraig Harrington defeated Sergio Garcia in a four-hole playoff to win his first Claret Jug – he shot level par compared to Garcia’s one over.

Harrington and Garcia battle in 2007 (Getty Images)

Just a couple of years later Stewart Cink triumphed in a playoff over then 59-year-old Tom Watson at Turnberry.

There have been 21 Open playoffs in all with the most recent coming at St Andrews in 2015.

Zach Johnson eventually triumphed over four holes beating Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman.

For more Open Championship news check out the Golf Monthly website.