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Goydos: New Players playoff format cause for concern

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HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. – The PGA Tour announced on Wednesday’s “Morning Drive” that the circuit will use a three-hole aggregate playoff if needed at The Players Championship.

While the move to make Nos. 16, 17 and 18 the theater for a dramatic shootout makes sense from a staging and entertainment perspective, Paul Goydos struggled with the decision. And not for the reasons one might think.

“Personally, the first two choices if you’re tied after 72 holes would be 18 holes, which would be a fifth round, which would make sense, or 73 holes. You’re tied at 72 you go to 73,” Goydos said at the RBC Heritage. “I don’t know where an arbitrary 75 comes in.”

Goydos, however, had no issue with the change from a competitive standpoint despite his Players playoff history. In 2008, he finished 72 holes tied with Sergio Garcia at 5 under par and lost on the first sudden-death playoff hole (the island-green 17th) when his tee shot found the water.

Some, not Goydos, have suggested that it may not be the best test to decide such a prestigious tournament on a hole that is often influenced by an unfortunate gust of wind.

“My shot (in 2008) had nothing to do with a gust of wind. I should have hit 9-iron instead of a pitching wedge,” he said.

The bigger concern for Goydos, a former Policy Board member, is the scheduling of a three-hole playoff, which could take nearly an hour to play and lead to a Monday finish.

“The No. 1 goal is to finish on Sunday and doing things to stop that are problematic,” Goydos said. “That would be my first question to the Tour. What are you going to do if it’s 8 (p.m.) and we have a playoff?”