How Is The Cut Determined In Golf: Detailed Explanation

Welcome to a riveting journey into the captivating world of golf, where precision, strategy, and sheer athleticism converge! Whether you’re an avid golfer or just dipping your toes into this mesmerizing sport, one question that might have crossed your mind is How is the cut determined in golf? 

Today, we’ll unravel this intriguing mystery and dive deep into the science behind score determination on those hallowed fairways. Brace yourself for a whirlwind tour through handicaps, par scores, and tantalizing tales from championship tournaments that will leave you thirsting for more knowledge about this age-old game. So grab your clubs and let’s tee off on an enlightening adventure as we unlock the secret formula behind golf’s elusive cut system!

What is a cut in golf?

A cut is a rule that determines which players will advance to play in the final rounds of a golf tournament and which players will be eliminated from the competition. The cut is usually made after two rounds of play or 36 holes, but it can vary depending on the tournament’s rules and the number of players competing.

The cut line is the score that separates the players who make the cut from those who miss it. The cut line is usually set at the top 70 players (and ties) out of the entire field of golfers, but it can be higher or lower depending on the tournament. For example, on the PGA Tour, European Tour, and Korn Ferry Tour, the 36-hole cut rule is to the top 65 players and ties. On the LPGA Tour, the cut rule is to the top 70 players and ties. If more than 78 players make the cut, a second cut takes place after 54 holes.

The cut line is determined by the number of strokes each player takes to complete the first two rounds of the tournament. The player with the lowest score after two rounds is said to be leading the tournament, while the player with the highest score is said to be trailing the field. The cut line is typically set at a level that will allow about half of the players to advance to the final rounds.

Why do golf tournaments have cuts?

Golf tournaments have been cut for several reasons. One reason is to reduce the size of the field for the final rounds, which makes it easier to manage the logistics of running a tournament, such as scheduling tee times, arranging marshals and volunteers, and providing media coverage. Another reason is to increase the level of competition and excitement for the final rounds, as only the best players remain in contention for the title and the prize money. A third reason is to reward consistent performance over two days, as making the cut requires playing well on different courses or in different weather conditions.

Making the cut in a golf tournament is important for professional golfers because it allows them to earn prize money and FedEx Cup points, which can help them qualify for future events and rankings. Players who fail to make the cut are eliminated from the tournament and do not have the opportunity to earn these rewards.

How is the cut line adjusted?

The tournament officials usually determine the cut line before the start of the tournament based on the number of players and the expected level of difficulty of the course. However, if there are unforeseen circumstances that affect the playability of the course or cause delays in completing rounds, such as bad weather, darkness, or injuries, then the cut line may be adjusted during the tournament.

For example, if the course is playing harder than expected due to strong winds or rough conditions, then the cut line may be lowered to allow more players to advance to the weekend rounds. Conversely, if the course is playing easier than expected due to favorable weather or soft greens, then the cut line may be raised to allow fewer players to advance.

How are ties resolved?

If two or more players have the same score after the second round, then a tiebreaker is used to determine who makes the cut. In most cases, the tiebreaker is based on the player’s score on the last nine, six, three, or one hole of the second round. If the players are still tied after this tiebreaker, then the cut line is extended to include all tied players.

For example, if there are 150 golfers playing in a tournament, and the top 70 players (and ties) make the cut, but there are 10 players tied for 70th place with a score of +3, then all 10 players will make the cut, and the field for the final rounds will be 80 players.

Are there exceptions?

Some tournaments have a no-cut policy, which means that all players who qualify for the tournament will play all four rounds, regardless of their scores. This is more common in invitational events, where the field is smaller and the competition is more exclusive. These events usually have higher prize money and prestige than regular tournaments.

Some examples of PGA Tour events without a cut are:

  1. WGC-HSBC Champions
  2. CJ Cup at Nine Bridges
  3. Zozo Championship
  4. Sentry Tournament of Champions
  5. WGC-Mexico Championship
  6. WGC-Dell Technologies MatchPlay
  7. WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational
  8. BMW Championship
  9. Tour Championship

Some examples of LPGA Tour events without a cut are:

  1. Diamond Resorts Tournament of Champions
  2. HSBC Women’s World Championship
  3. Dow Great Lakes Bay Invitational
  4. Solheim Cup
  5. CME Group Tour Championship

Watch Senior Golfer Guide to Better Understand How Is The Cut Determined in Golf:


After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of how the cut is determined in golf. The rules and regulations that govern the cut may vary from tournament to tournament but having a basic knowledge of the process will allow you to make informed decisions when considering which tournaments to play in. With practice and perseverance, you can improve your scores and increase your chances of making the cut in any golf tournament.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article and learned something new about golf. If you have any questions or feedback, please let me know.

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