The final secondary cut in PGA Tour history was made after Saturday’s third round of the 2019 Wyndham Championship, and Jordan Spieth was one of the victims after the poorest round of the week among those who made the cut.
Spieth opened with a double-bogey 6 on the first hole at Sedgefield Country Club, and he never put a circle on the card the rest of the way. Another pair of double bogeys and a bogey all added up to 7-over 77, taking him from 9-under total through 36 holes and in contention to being on the wrong end of the 54-hole secondary cut.
The three-time major winner got into contention on the back of his putter, which has been hotter this year than even in 2015, when he won two majors. It’s been his ballstriking, particularly his iron play, that has let him down since the win at the 2017 British Open.
“I putted my ass off for two days to be able to be where I was at, and you can’t exactly fix your ball-striking in a day from being a negative three or something strokes gained to trying to gain positive,” Spieth said. “It’s just too much to try and force it.”
The eternal optimist, Spieth said one day off before heading into a potential run of three consecutive events: “So this extra day could serve me really well through the playoffs.”
The secondary cut — signified by the MDF, meaning “Made Cut, Did Not Finish” on PGA Tour leaderboards — has been made since 2008 when 78 or more players make the 36-hole cut. The field is winnowed down to the number nearest 70, which is the typical PGA Tour 36-hole cut line. The point of the secondary cut is to prevent logistical problems in the final round and avoid the need for threesomes on Sunday if at all possible.
However, starting in September with the 2019-2020 PGA Tour season, the secondary cut will be no more. The PGA Tour’s board has agreed to change the 36-hole cut rule to that of the Korn Ferry Tour, down to the top 65 and ties after two rounds. With this being the final event of the PGA Tour regular season, this secondary cut represents the final time — at least for the foreseeable future — we’ll see the MDF. Though next week’s The Northern Trust will have a cut, the PGA Tour eliminated the secondary cut from playoff events.