Playoff? Maybe not, 2016 Tour stats suggest


RIO DE JANEIRO – Playoffs are nothing new in golf, with a dozen events going extra frames this year on the PGA Tour. But overtime this week at the Olympics creates an entirely different scenario.

In the case of ties for any of the top three positions on Sunday, gold, silver or bronze, there will be sudden-death playoffs to determine who wins the medals.

In the case of three or more players tied for first, for example, the playoff will determine the gold medal winner first, and play will continue to determine the silver and bronze afterward.

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If four or more players finish tied for all the medals and two players make a birdie at the first extra hole and two make par, the playoff will be split with two playing for gold and silver on one hole, and the two who opened with bogeys playing for bronze on another hole.

The holes used for the playoff will be Nos. 18, 1 and 17.

Although playoffs are not uncommon, this season suggests there could be a clean finish for all medals. Of the 39 non-match play events this season, there have been 15 times when there has been a solo first-, second- and third-place finisher, including at four of the last six events.