Alfred Wright's article, In Case of a Tie, a Vote for Russian Roulette (April 15), presents a very strong case for the abandonment of the present 18-hole playoff rule in golf. The harassed officials, the exhausted club committees, the fatigued spectators and the anxious TV viewers all suffer from this present policy.
On the other side of the coin, Palmer, Nicklaus and Casper present a valid point for the 18-hole playoff in that sudden-death is not a fair test for the players. Too many freak occurrences can give the title to one man without establishing his clear superiority over another.
It would seem to me that the answer lies in a playoff that would allow for continuation of play at the conclusion of the regular tournament and still provide a fair test for the golfers. My suggestion is a four-hole playoff (on those holes already set up for TV coverage) with the winner chosen on either match- or medal-play results. This would go a long way toward satisfying everyone's needs.
New York City