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Robato

Tiebreakers

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Hi everyone,

I just played a tournament, and finished tied for first at 72. I shot a Out/In of 37-35, and the other player shot a 35-37. Since the tournament was really full, they had half of the field start at the front nine (Out) and the other half at the back nine (In). Both of us started on the back nine (In), so our final 9 holes (which was the first 1-9 holes of the course) score was 35 for me and 37 for him. I guess in order to keep it less confusing, the tournament rules made it so that no matter which half the players started on, they would use the last 10-18 holes of the course as a tie-breaker. I disagree, since we both started on the same 10-18 and finished on the 1-9 holes, its easier to see that if we went into a play-off, I would have had the advantage (which is the basis for the back-nine tie-breaking rule, isn't it?) What do you think?

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I believe that is the standard USGA recommendation for breaking ties if you don't have a playoff.  If still tied they use the last 6, then 3, then final hole.  The way you described above is exactly how my club breaks all ties.

I guess in theory it should have been the front 9 because you were playing better at the end.  But since half of the field was on front and the other on the back, it is not fair to compare a front to a back, so they probably just decided to use the back for all.

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Regardless of which hole or holes they pick, it seems really odd that they would actually compare scores on different holes to break a tie.  So I agree with you that they were wrong to use each of your back nines, since they were different nines.  But I don't think it really makes a difference WHICH holes they actually use.  Breaking a tie without actually playing is going to be imperfect no matter which way you do it (had they chose to use your front nines, I imagine you wouldn't care ;)) but the least they could do is compare scores from the same holes.

Of course, the fact of the matter is that it was an 18 hole stroke play tournament and you guys both tied.  I mean, if you birdied 9 every hole on the front and bogeyed every hole on the back, you still tied the guy who got 18 pars.  Neither 72 is "better" than the other.  No matter which tie breaker method they go with, it's still tantamount to flipping a coin, really.

He may walk away with a trophy (or you could have too) but without the actual head to head playoff, its still a tie, no matter which way you slice it.

EDIT:  Just realized I read the OP wrong.  They did compare like holes ... so, as explained above, no OP, I don't think they were wrong at all.

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Thanks, I get the 'back for all,' but is it unfair to compare a front to a back? I mean, a true back nine isn't that more difficult than a front, is it?

I'd say the players starting on the back are already starting with a disadvantage, because they have to come out of the gate and play their first nine holes super well. And I again point to the reason why they look at the back nine as a tie-breaker: If there was a play-off, the final nine holes would indicate which player is playing better, and has a better chance of continuing that level of play.

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Originally Posted by Robato

Thanks, I get the 'back for all,' but is it unfair to compare a front to a back? I mean, a true back nine isn't that more difficult than a front, is it?

I'd say the players starting on the back are already starting with a disadvantage, because they have to come out of the gate and play their first nine holes super well. And I again point to the reason why they look at the back nine as a tie-breaker: If there was a play-off, the final nine holes would indicate which player is playing better, and has a better chance of continuing that level of play.


At my home course the front nine is par 35 and the back nine is par 37.  The back nine was actually built first as an original nine and then the front nine was added later.  They really are two different courses.  I find the back nine to be much harder than the front.

As for this tie break, I think that is a really bad way to handle a tie.  What could a playoff hurt!

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Yeah, I feel like a tie is a tie too, but the other guy left with the top score prize. We both started on the back nine, but our scores were displayed like a regular round, front nine and back nine, holes 1-9 & 10-18, so it looked like he had the better back nine. I'll just take it as fuel for the next one and score so low that there will be no doubt about it!

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In all of our club tourneys (except the majors), ties are broken this way (or some other complicated formula that no one questions) - mainly because it takes forever for scoring to get done and some guys do not stick around to see the end result.

Majors are played with a playoff. During member/guest or member/member, the flight winners play elimination (for overall champion) - if there is a tie for who is eliminated on a hole, there is a chip off.

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