Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida --PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is hoping for a playoff at The Players to test out the new three-hole format.
After having discussions with many of the players on the PGA Tour, PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem joked, “They are in agreement that we will have a playoff this year.” In other words, the reaction is positive and there are plenty of golfers wanting to be in the first version should a playoff decide the tournament.
“I think it’s great,” said former champ Matt Kuchar. “It’s really exciting. I think that’s what we all think about is those three finishing holes.” He believes there’s enough daylight to get it finished.
“If it’s a two-man playoff, we feel like we can get four to five holes in. We’d finish the first three. If it was still tied, we could get another hole in,” he said.
He said if there are three players tied, he believes they can still play four holes before it is too dark to finish. Regulation is slated to finish at 7 P.M. and darkness would be shortly after 8 P.M.
“The great thing about this format is if you play three holes, and you’re tied, and we run out of daylight, it’s a really good story for the next day when we come back and finish. It’s great highlights all night. Golf Channel will be having a good time with that.”
Finchem pointed out 1 billion households and 225 countries will have access to viewing the event.
Adam Scott, another past champ, is among those who like the new playoff.
“It’s a pretty amazing three holes. When it’s head-to-head like that, I think anything can happen, and no matter what, there’s going to be some drama. Someone can play three great holes and probably in by a few, if it all goes wrong for someone else,” Scott said.
Scott and Phil Mickelson both like the idea of more holes rather than fewer holes. They also like not starting on the 17th.
“I think it’s a good idea and probably feel a little more comfortable walking out there knowing you’ve got three holes rather than having to pick it up on 17 and it’s all one shot,” Scott added.
“I always feel like having more holes, especially at big tournaments, rather than leaving things to chance on one hole, because the way a major championship and The Players Championship can affect you positively with a win and affect your career,” Mickelson explained. “It makes a big impact.”
Mickelson said his favorite playoff length was the 18-hole version at the U.S. Open. His next favorite is the British Open with their four-hole playoff. “I like more holes rather than having it be sudden death,” he said.
“I think it makes the tournament a little more unique and showcases those final three, which is such a great finishing three holes,” Kuchar added.
Kathy Bissell is a Golf Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained first-hand or from official interview materials from the USGA, PGA Tour or PGA of America.