Most PGA Tour events have a cut after two rounds, or 36 holes, down to a field for the final two rounds. As of the 2016-17 season, the cut rule is down to the top 70 players and ties, with those players getting to finish out the tournament provided less than 78 players finishing inside the 36-hole cut line.
In the event that 78 or more players make the 36-hole cut, then the PGA Tour has a secondary cut after 54 holes to reduce the field to the number nearest possible to 70 players. Those players who survive the secondary cut play the final round and have an opportunity to move up the leaderboard. The players who miss the secondary cut are considered MDF, or "made the cut, didn't finish," and earn money and FedEx Cup points for their standing through 54 holes.
All players who make the 36-hole cut are paid according to the PGA Tour purse distribution guidance.
However, not every PGA Tour event has a 36-hole cut line. Some events are not subject to the PGA Tour cut rule. Players who complete four rounds in these events earn credit for a cut made on the PGA Tour, adding to their pension fund.
On the current PGA Tour, the minimum number of players in the field to have a 36-hole cut is 100. That's the field size for the former Deutsche Bank Championship, now the Dell Technologies Championship, which is the second FedEx Cup playoff event.
PGA Tour events without a cut
- WGC-HSBC Champions
- CIMB Classic
- SBS Tournament of Champions
- WGC-Mexico Championship
- WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
- WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
- BMW Championship
- Tour Championship
PGA Tour events with a 54-hole cut
- AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am: Cuts down to the top 60 and ties for the final round; the top 70 and ties get paid and earn FedEx Cup points
- CareerBuilder Challenge: Cuts down to the top 70 and ties for the final round, unless 78 or more players would qualify for Sunday, which changes the cut to the top 60 and ties; the top 70 and ties get paid and earn FedEx Cup points
Major championship cut rules