The PGA Tour cut rule is about to change, and it’s going to affect the way PGA Tour players get paid in terms of their prize money payout and, potentially, FedEx Cup points.
According to a Golf Channel report, the PGA Tour’s Policy Board voted in March to change the PGA Tour’s 36-hole cut rule from the top 70 and ties to the top 65 and ties, which is the current 36-hole cut rule for the Web.com Tour.
In addition, the PGA Tour policy board asked its Player Advisory Council (PAC) about the possibility of eliminating the secondary cut, the MDF rule, which is applied when 78 or more players make the 36-hole cut. (Again, the Web.com Tour doesn’t have a secondary cut.) The rule went into place in 2008, in an effort to cut down on potential two-tee starts on Sundays when an unwieldy number of players made the 36-hole cut. The PAC supported the measure in a May meeting.
With a change to the PGA Tour cut rule, the PGA Tour prize money payout would have to change, too. After all, fewer players would most likely make the cut from week to week. The Player Advisory Council chose to support increasing the first-place payout from the current 18 percent to 20 percent moving forward, keeping everything else largely the same in terms of prize money payout percentages.
This would also change how FedEx Cup points are allocated. Only players who make the 36-hole cut (or complete the tournament in a no-cut event) get FedEx Cup points. The structure was tweaked in recent years to line up the points allocation to more resemble the prize money payout structure. This change could require an adjustment as well.
In recent years, the PGA Tour has moved to shorten fields at various times of year, including in the fall full-field events that face limited daylight. With the Genesis Open becoming an invitational next season, its field will also reduce to 120 players.
A final policy board vote on the matter will happen the week of the Travelers Championship, after the US Open. If the proposals go through, they would take effect with the start of the 2019-2020 PGA Tour season.