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 2019-2020 season, the cut rule is down to the top 65 players and ties, with those players getting to finish out the tournament.
Before the 2018-2019 season, the PGA Tour cut rule was to the top 70 and ties after 36 holes. All players could finish the tournament, provided less than 78 players finishing inside the 36-hole cut line. (Here are the PGA Tour events without a cut.)
In the event that 78 or more players make the 36-hole cut, then the PGA Tour had a secondary cut after 54 holes to reduce the field to the number nearest possible to 70 players. Those players who survived the secondary cut play the final round and had an opportunity to move up the leaderboard. The players who missed the secondary cut are considered MDF, or "made the cut, didn't finish," and earned money and FedEx Cup points for their standing through 54 holes. The Northern Trust, the one FedEx Cup playoff event with a cut, did not offer a MDF. The secondary cut no longer exists.
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 120. That's the field size for invitationals and opposite-field events.
PGA Tour events without a cut
- WGC-HSBC Champions
- CJ Cup at Nine Bridges
- Zozo Championship
- Sentry Tournament of Champions
- WGC-Mexico Championship
- WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play
- WGC-FedEx St. Jude 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
- The American Express: Cuts down to the top 65 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 65 and ties get paid and earn FedEx Cup points
Major championship cut rules