[PHOTO: Enrique Berardi]

In celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Players Championship, it’s interesting to note that the tournament has needed extra holes to decide a champion just five times. And it hasn’t happened since 2015.

1981: Raymond Floyd defeated Barry Jackel and Curtis Strange

1987: Sandy Lyle defeated Jeff Sluman

2008: Sergio Garcia defeated Paul Goydos

2011: K.J. Choi defeated David Toms

2015: Rickie Fowler defeated Sergio Garcia and Kevin Kisner

Yet with a loaded leaderboard heading into the back nine on the final round at TPC Sawgrass, the potential for a sixth playoff seems fairly high. Which is why it’s worth a minute to familiarise yourself with the format the PGA Tour uses for its flagship event, particularly considering its different than what’s used at any other regular PGA Tour event.

Indeed, if there a tie after 72 holes at the Players, all players will return to the course and play a three-hole aggregate playoff. And those three holes are Sawgrass’ trio of memorable finishing holes: the par-5 16th, par-3 17th and par-4 18th.

If there is still a tie after that, the playoff reverts to sudden death with all those remaining returning again to the 17th hole.

The three-hole format was put into place in 2013. It’s been used just once, in 2015, when Garcia bowed out after the initial three holes, then Fowler made a birdie when returning to the 17th hole to outlast Kisner.

Needless to say, if a playoff is needed this year, with Kisner working in the commentary booth for NBC during the TV broadcast, we’re going to learn a lot about what it’s like to play extra holes for the Players title.