Here's how different the history of golf would look if it was played over nine holes


Top golfers are preparing to tee off at Wentworth for this week's BMW PGA Championship.

But how different would the championship be if it was played over nine holes instead of 18?Well, tjh

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Well, the experts at England Golf - the governing body for amateur golf in England - have researched the front nine and the back nine holes of every major championship of the past five years.

They then re-imagined how differently those major tournaments would have turned out... and here's some examples of who would have been victorious.

If the game was played over the front nine holes...

Last year's BMW PGA Championship would have been won by Thongchai Jaidee.

golfer Thongchai Jaidee
(Adam Davy/PA)

The Thai star was the eventual runner-up of the tournament. But he would have clinched victory with a -10 ahead of South Korea's Byeong-hun An.

And if the game finished after the first nine holes, injury-hit star Tiger Woods would have added a further two major honours to his record.

In 2012, the 40-year-old former world No 1 would have claimed victory at The Open in Lancashire. Eventual winner Ernie Els would have finished third behind Woods and Australia's Adam Scott.

tiger woods
What Tiger Woods might have looked like if he actually did win The Open in 2012

Woods would also be within touching distance of Jack Nicklaus' record haul of 18 major championship victories - well, if the 2013 Masters had come to a finish after the ninth hole that is. Woods (-4) would have beaten a field of Angel Cabrera, Jason Day and Marc Leishman (all -2).

If the game was played over the back nine holes...

England's Lee Westwood would have celebrated his first major championship victory at this year's Masters.

Widely regarded as one of the best golfers to have never won a major tournament, the 43-year-old would have pocketed the $1.8 million in prize money up for grabs.

lee westwood
Lee Westwood re-imagined as winning The Masters in 2012

Also, Justin Rose would have added a second major championship trophy to his collection if the game was played from holes 10 to 18.

The 35-year-old is a graduate of the England Golf coaching programme. And he would have won a green jacket at the 2015 Masters.

Justin Rose said: "During practice I often play nine holes, rather than 18. Golf Express gives people the opportunity to go out and enjoy all the benefits of the game in half the time."

justin rose
(Danny Lawson/PA)

All this research is to mark the launch of Golf Express - a way for busy people to play more golf across the country, through the 9-hole format of the game.

England Golf's Club Services and Development Director Richard Flint said: "What this research does is shine a light on the nine-hole game and I hope it encourages more people to get into golf."