For those who have been engrossed in the sport of Golf for years, the cut is a familiar concept, but for those who aren’t fans of golf, or for those who are just getting started in the golfing world, the cut is an unfamiliar and strange concept which can be hard to understand at first, but if you’re planning on participating in major tournaments someday, then it’s something you need to get to grips with quickly!
One of the most commonly asked questions about the cut in tournaments is whether or not The Masters has a cut.
Everyone, golf fan or not, knows about The Masters, as it’s arguably one of the biggest golf tournaments in the world, so it’s not unusual for casual fans and intrigued viewers to tune in to watch it.
So, if you want to know whether or not there is a cut at The Masters, as well as more information about cuts in golf tournaments, then we’ll provide you with everything you need to know.
What Is A Cut In Golf?
As the name might suggest, a cut in golf is where the number of players participating is reduced drastically.
In the current day era of golf, usually, a cut occurs after two rounds of golf have been played, which is equal to 36 holes.
After 36 holes of golf (Or another, predetermined point in the match) has been reached, then the field of players is cut, which is based upon the cut rule which will have been determined prior to the tournament beginning.
For most tours, the rule tends to be that the 36-hole cut rule is for the top 65 players and ties, but this can differ from tour to tour, and for some tours, this cut rule is for the top 70 players and ties.
The tour will have a standard cut rule across each of the tournaments, although there are sometimes exceptions, and the rule is usually based on how many players are participating in the tournament, which can obviously vary too.
Amateur events will sometimes have cuts too, and tournaments like the US Amateur will have a cut that is set for a specific number, and if more than this number make it through after two rounds have been completed, then a playoff is played between the players with the worst score to decide who qualifies until the number of players is fixed, and then the tournament can then continue.
Why Do Golf Tournaments Have Cuts?
So now that you know exactly what a cut is, you’re probably wondering what the point of a cut actually is, so allow us to explain.
There are actually two reasons why golf tournaments have a cut, the first reason is to help field control.
Most golf tournaments at a professional level will have easily over 100 players when it first begins, so players are usually grouped into threesomes for the first two rounds, which are typically called qualifying rounds, off both the 1st and the 10th tees on a host course.
These rounds do tend to be slower than others, but after two rounds it’s much easier to tell which players are likely to win or place well depending on their scores.
So by cutting down on the number of players competing in the final rounds, it allows the tournament organizers to ensure that only players who have a chance of winning or placing well will compete, which not only makes the rounds faster but also increases the competition too.
The second reason that some tournaments have cuts is to help fulfil a specific format.
The US Amateur, for example, is a tournament that uses a hybrid format, it starts with a stroke-play qualifying, before moving on to a match-play tournament, which then determines the overall winner.
And since there are 64 people that fit into the bracket size, a cut is necessary to ensure that the number of players isn’t above this number.
Do The Masters Have A Cut?
As one of the most prestigious competitions in the entirety of golf, the playing field of The Masters is always limited anyways. But in 1957, The Masters installed a cut too, which is a 36-hole cut with the low 40 players and ties that get to move on.
This was edited slightly in 1962, where the cut was raised to low 44 and ties and was edited again 4 years later in 1966 to include anyone who was within 10 shots of the lead by the midway point.
The cut then remained unchanged until 2013, when it was amended to include the top 50 players and ties, whilst keeping the rule about anybody being within 10 shots of the leader by the midway point.
This lasted until 2020, where the most recent change to the cut rule took place, which saw the low 50 players and ties qualify to compete in the final 36 holes.
This change is still in effect as of 2022, and it’s unknown when the next change to the cut rule for The Masters will be, so you should keep an eye out for any information on rule changes before the start of the next tournament to find out if the cut rule has changed at all!
Of course, those who miss out on qualifying for the final rounds do get invited to stick around and see out the end of the tournament, but in this scenario, many professionals simply pack up and move on once they’ve been cut.
So, to summarise, yes, there is a cut rule in place at The Masters, and as per the change in 2020, it sees the low 50 players and ties qualify to participate in the final 36 holes of the tournament. We hope this helped, and thanks for reading!