For golf fans who watch the Masters every year, they have long heard during Friday’s second round about the 10-Shot Rule. It had been part of the Masters cut rule, determining how many players compete in the final two rounds in the only major that’s an invitational.
Before 2020, it was a part of the Masters cut rule. In addition to the top 50 players and ties making the cut at the Masters, the 10-Shot Rule was in effect. The 10-Shot Rule meant any player within 10 shots of the lead after 36 holes also made the cut, whether they’re inside the top 50 and ties or not.
The reason for the 10-Shot Rule was the Augusta National Masters committee felt a player within 10 shots of the lead could at least conceivably track down the lead with two rounds and potentially win the tournament. So, if a player had a chance to win, they should have a chance to finish it out, as the thought goes. The biggest comeback after 36 holes in Masters history is 8 shots, overcome by Jack Burke Jr. in 1956.
The 10-Shot Rule and the expansion of the Masters cut line over the years from the top 40 and ties, to the top 44 and ties, to the modern top 50 and ties, made the Masters weekend field by and away the largest percentage of the starting field to complete all four rounds in a men’s major championship. So they tightened it a little in 2020.
Other major championships, including the US Open, once used the 10-Shot Rule in making their cuts. However, in the interest of avoiding large weekend fields, the other three major presenting bodies — the USGA, R&A and PGA of America — do not have a 10-Shot Rule in effect.