What is the Masters 36-hole cut rule, and how is the cut line determined?
CMC Masters

What is the Masters 36-hole cut rule, and how is the cut line determined?

A photo of a pin flag at the Masters Tournament

Making the Masters 36-hole cut is a big deal in golf, an opportunity to make history and a lot of money after the field is reduced for the final two rounds. However, the Masters cut rule that determines the 36-hole cut line has evolved over the years.

What is the Masters 36-hole cut rule?

The Masters cut rule dictates that the top 50 players and ties make the cut.

In 2020, the Masters cut rule changed for the first time since 2014. Now it is more difficult to get to the weekend at Augusta National Golf Club. No longer will the 10-Shot Rule be in effect, meaning players within 10 shots of the lead after two rounds are not automatically through to the weekend.

Before 2020, the rule was last changed in 2014, bumping up from the former cut line of the top 44 players and ties to the top 50 (and ties and those within 10 shots of the lead), which was the case from 1961-2013. Prior to that, the cut rule was the top 40 and ties.

In most years, approximately 40 players are cut from the field for the weekend. However, with Masters fields pushing close to 100 more often in recent memory, the Masters wanted to make a change that reduced the weekend field potentially further and allow for twosomes on the weekend.

How is the Masters cut line different from the PGA Tour cut rules?

The 2024 Masters cut line is determined is a little bit different than the three other majors and from week-to-week on the PGA Tour.

Compared to the three other men's major championships, the Masters cuts the fewest players with their 36-hole cut rule. The British Open Championship and PGA Championship cut to the top 70 and ties, with the US Open cutting to the top 60 and ties. Those fields are all 156 players. The Masters field is almost always under 100 players, meaning more than half the field makes the cut.

The PGA Tour cut rule and European Tour cut rule is down to the top 65 players and ties after two rounds for almost all tournaments.

While the Masters cut rule has changed, it's still one of the friendlier majors to get to the weekend. Between former champions that aren't typically competitive and first-timers who struggle in their debut, making the Masters cut isn't as big of a deal as the other majors. That creates the potential for dramatic moves on the weekend, which fans love.

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Ryan Ballengee

Ryan Ballengee is founder and editor of Golf News Net. He has been writing and broadcasting about golf for nearly 20 years. Ballengee lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family. He is currently a +2.6 USGA handicap, and he has covered dozens of major championships and professional golf tournaments. He likes writing about golf and making it more accessible by answering the complex questions fans have about the pro game or who want to understand how to play golf better.

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