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Playoffs at Golf's Major Championships


Ben Hogan circa 1955

Ben Hogan won nine majors - but was only 1-3 in playoffs at major championships.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images
Want to see the results of every playoff that has taken place at the four men's golf majors? We have you covered. Our major playoffs pages list the winners, losers and scores, and provide a bit more detail for most of the playoffs. The formats in use over time are also listed.

Check out these pages to view the playoffs that have taken place at each of the four major championships:

Masters Playoffs
U.S. Open Playoffs
British Open Playoffs
PGA Championship Playoffs

And here is more information about major championship playoffs taken as a whole:

Records Relating to Major Championship Playoffs

Most Playoff Appearances In Majors
5 - Byron Nelson
4 - Jack Nicklaus, Ben Hogan, Arnold Palmer, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Craig Wood

Byron Nelson went 2-3 in his five playoffs at majors. His wins were at the 1939 U.S. Open and 1942 Masters; and his losses were at the 1946 U.S. Open, plus in extra holes of the championship matches at the 1939 and 1941 PGA Championships.

Most Playoff Wins In Majors
3 - Tiger Woods, Jack Nicklaus

Tiger Woods is 3-0 in playoffs with wins at the 2000 PGA Championship, 2005 Masters and 2008 U.S. Open. Jack Nicklaus was 3-1 in playoffs with wins at the 1962 U.S. Open, 1966 Masters and 1970 British Open (plus a loss at the 1971 U.S. Open).

Most Playoff Losses In Majors
4 - Greg Norman, Craig Wood

Losses In Playoffs at All Four Majors
The two golfers who lost four players at majors - Greg Norman and Craig Wood - also share the distinction of losing in playoffs at each of the four professional majors.

Norman's four playoff losses happened at the 1984 U.S. Open, 1987 Masters, 1989 British Open and 1993 PGA Championship. Wood's four playoff losses happened at the 1933 British Open, 1934 PGA Championship (on 38th hole of championship match), 1935 Masters and 1939 U.S. Open.

Norman and Wood both won two majors, too.

W-L Records of Golfers with 2 or More Playoffs In Majors
This is the list of all golfers who've appeared in two or more playoffs in major championships, and their won-loss records*:

Tiger Woods, 3-0
Willie Anderson, 2-0
Billy Casper, 2-0
Fuzzy Zoeller, 2-0
Jack Nicklaus, 3-1
Ernie Els, 2-1
Nick Faldo, 2-1
Gene Sarazen, 2-1
Denny Shute, 2-1
Harry Vardon, 2-1
Bobby Jones, 2-2
Mark Brooks, 1-1
Steve Elkington, 1-1
Vic Ghezzi, 1-1
Walter Hagen, 1-1
Don January, 1-1
John Mahaffey, 1-1
Lloyd Mangrum, 1-1
Johnny McDermott, 1-1
Gary Player, 1-1
Alex Smith, 1-1
Sam Snead, 1-1
Lanny Wadkins, 1-1
Bubba Watson, 1-1
Byron Nelson, 2-3
Ben Hogan, 1-3
Arnold Palmer, 1-3
Tom Watson, 1-3
Mike Brady, 0-2
Chris DiMarco, 0-2
Justin Leonard, 0-2
Gene Littler, 0-2
Colin Montgomerie, 0-2
Kenny Perry, 0-2
Greg Norman, 0-4
Craig Wood, 0-4

The most surprising thing about that list? The records of Hogan, Palmer and Tom Watson. Those three won a combined 24 major championships, but were a combined 3-9 in playoffs.

(*The records of Ghezzi, Shute and Sarazen include wins in extra holes of championship matches during the PGA Championship's match play era; the records of Nelson, Wood and Hagen include losses in extra holes from PGA Championship match play finals.)

A whole slew of golfers have made a single appearance in a playoff at a major. The two lists that follow, combined with the list above, complete the roster of golfers who've appeared in a major championship playoff.

Golfers who won their only major championship playoff appearance: Tommy Armour, Paul Azinger, Jerry Barber, Julius Boros, Keegan Bradley, Billy Burke, Angel Cabrera, Mark Calcavecchia, Bob Charles, Stewart Cink, John Daly, Retief Goosen, David Graham, Lou Graham, Johnny Farrell, Willie Fernie, Jack Fleck, Todd Hamilton, Padraig Harrington, Jock Hutchison, Hale Irwin, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Bobby Locke, Lawson Little, Willie Macfarlane, Bob Martin, Dick Mayer, Fred McLeod, Larry Mize, Larry Nelson, Mark O'Meara, Francis Ouimet, Willie Park Jr., Henry Picard, Paul Runyan, Vijay Singh, Craig Stadler, Payne Stewart, Curtis Strange, Peter Thomson, Lee Trevino, Mike Weir, Lew Worsham

Golfers who lost their only major championship playoff appearance: Stuart Appleby, Seve Ballesteros, Harry Bradshaw, Gay Brewer, David Brown, Chad Campbell, Harry Cooper, Ben Crenshaw, Bobby Cruickshank, Jacky Cupit, Mike Donald, Jason Dufner, Al Espinosa, George Fazio, Bob Ferguson, Dow Finsterwald, Raymond Floyd, Sergio Garcia, Wayne Grady, Scott Hoch, Tommy Jacobs, Andrew Kirkaldy, Thomas Levet, Don Massengale, Arnaud Massy, Len Mattiace, Bob May, Jug McSpaden, Rocco Mediate, Cary Middlecoff, Kel Nagle, Jack Newton, Louis Oosthuizen, Jerry Pate, Dan Pohl, Ted Ray, Constantino Rocca, Loren Robert, Phil Rodgers, Doug Sanders, George Simpson, Scott Simpson, Macdonald Smith, Willie Smith, Ed Sneed, David Strath, J.H. Taylor, Dave Thomas, Jean Van de Velde, George Von Elm, Brian Watts, Roger Wethered

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