What Does It Mean To Make The Cut In Golf?

In professional golf events making the cut means qualifying for the final rounds of the competition and guaranteeing yourself a cut of the prize money.

On the PGA Tour, events usually have a cut after the first two rounds of a four-round competition. Usually, the cut occurs at the 65th position plus any players tied for that score.

What Does It Mean To Make The Cut In Golf

What Does The Cut Mean In Golf?

The cut or cut line is the score that you need to achieve in order to finish high enough to qualify to play in the final rounds of the competition.

Historically even 72-hole professional events often took place over three days with 36 holes played on the final day. It would be impractical to get 156 players around the course twice in one day.

As golf increased in popularity, particularly on TV it makes sense for the TV coverage to play third and fourth rounds on separate days and also have the leaders out last and therefore finishing their rounds in prime-time.

The Open Championship still played the final two rounds in one day into the 1950s.

What Does It Mean To Miss The Cut?

If you miss the cut then that means your score wasn’t low enough and you will not be able to take part in the remaining rounds. It also means you won’t receive any prize money for that competition.

How Many Golfers Make The Cut?

On the PGA Tour, the cut is usually set at the top 65 players and any ties. The DP World Tour also has a policy of the top 65 players making the cut. Similar to the PGA tour they may also have a second cut after 54 holes if more than 78 players qualified for the third round.

Players that make the initial 36-hole cut but fail to make the 54-hole cut are considered to have “made the cut, didn’t finish”. In the results, this is marked as MDF. Players that finish in this position will still earn some prize money and ranking points.

On the LPGA tour, most tournaments run over three rounds with a cut after the second round. The cut usually applies to 70th place and any ties.

In a small number of cases, the cut might occur after 3 rounds. On the DP World Tour, the Alfred Dunhill Links uses a celebrity pro-am format so the cut takes place after 3 rounds (one round on each of the tournament host courses). While there is a cut for the professionals (top 60) there is also a separate cut for the pro-am with the top-20 playing on the final day.

For many years the PGA Tour had the Bob Hope Classic which was played over 4 courses and the cut happened after the 4th round. This has now been reduced to a 4 round tournament with a 54-hole cut.

What Is The 10 Shot Rule?

For a number of years, some of the major championships applied one additional rule when deciding on the cut. As well as including any players up to a certain position they would also include anyone within 10 shots of the leader at the end of the second round.

This led to some large fields over the weekend on occasion and this rule has now been dropped.

How Many Players Make The Cut At The Masters?

The Masters cut takes place at 50th plus any ties. For a number of years, the Masters also employed the 10-shot rule but they decided to remove it in 2020. 

How Many Players Make The Cut At The Open Championship?

Taking place later in the year means more daylight and therefore a larger field of 156 players compared with the Masters field of around 100.

This means that the Open Championship has a cutline of 70 and ties.

Do Golfers Get Paid If They Make The Cut?

Yes, players making the cut will be paid unless they are still amateur golfers.

Do Golfers Get Paid If They Miss The Cut?

In general no, they don’t get paid if they miss the cut. In certain tournaments, there have been payments made to players that missed the cut. This has happened in the majors in recent years.

Do Caddies Get Paid If They Miss The Cut?

Even if their player misses the cut then the caddie will still get paid. The money comes out of the player’s pocket. This can make for an expensive week if you fail to make the cut.

Caddies will usually have a basic wage plus a % depending on where the player finishes. The standard is 10% for a win, 7% for a top-10 and 5% for any other position.

Do Amateur Tournaments Have A Cut?

Some larger amateur tournaments do use a cut although obviously, this isn’t about reducing the number of players that receive prize money. It is more about having a manageable number of golfers over the final round or two. Some large amateur tournaments might run over three days with all participants playing the first two rounds over the first two days. There is then a cut made and a limited field of 40 to 60 golfers might play 36 holes on the final day to decide the winner.

Sometimes amateur competitions will have a stroke play section followed by a matchplay section. The top 128, 64, 32, 16 or 8 players might make the cut for the matchplay portion. The final winner of the competition is determined by straightforward knockout matchplay.

The Amateur Championship starts with a 36-hole stroke play competition where the original 288 entrants are whittled down to the top 64 players. These players then play matchplay over the next four days to find that year’s champion. 

Do Scores Reset After The Cut?

No. Scores do not reset after the cut.

Who Has The Longest Streak Of Consecutive Cuts Made On The PGA Tour?

Tiger Woods managed to make the cut in 142 consecutive PGA Tour events between the 1998 Buick Invitational and the 2005 Byron Nelson

Most Consecutive Cuts Made On The European Tour?

Ernie Els managed to play the weekend 82 times between 2000 and 2007.

What Does It Mean To Make The Cut In Golf: Summary

So for professional golfers making the cut is pretty important as they are not going to earn any prize money if they don’t. For elite amateurs it is also important as their performances in larger tournaments will affect their ranking points which may affect their ability to play in other events or to represent their country.

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