What Is the Cut at The Masters?

The Masters Tournament is one of the four major championships of men's professional golf, but like most other pro tournaments, it has a cut. That means the field is trimmed after two rounds (36 holes) of play, leaving roughly the golfers in the top half of the standings to continue playing the final two rounds.

But which players get to continue — just who makes the cut at The Masters? That is determined by the Masters cut rule and the scores in each specific Masters Tournament.

This is the Masters cut rule:

  • Following the completion of the second round, the cut is implemented.
  • The golfers who finished the second round in the Top 50 on the leaderboard — including all those tied for 50th place — make the cut and continue on to the third and fourth rounds.
  • Also making the cut are any golfers who finished outside the Top 50 but who are within 10 strokes of the leader.
  • All golfers who finished the second round in 51st place and lower and who are more than 10 strokes behind the leader are cut from the field.
To summarize: After two rounds, the Top 50 players plus ties, plus anyone within 10 strokes of the lead, make the cut.

How Many Players Make the Cut at The Masters?

We know from the cut rule above that a minimum of 50 golfers make the cut at The Masters. The specific number of golfers varies from year to year because there might be any number of golfers tied for 50th place or within 10 strokes of the lead.

If there are no ties after two rounds for 50th place, and the 51st-place golfer is more than 10 strokes behind the leader, then exactly 50 players make the cut. If five golfers are tied for 50th place, then 55 players make the cut. If 20 golfers (unlikely, but possible) are tied for 50th place after two rounds, then 70 players make the cut.

The other part of the equation is the 10-strokes rule: Everyone within 10 strokes of the lead makes the cut. If a Masters field is tightly bunched in scoring, the 10-stroke rule opens the door for more golfers to make the cut.

Typically, somewhere between 50 and 65 players make the cut at The Masters.

Note that The Masters had slightly different cut rules in years past, so the number also varies over the course of the tournament's history. The current cut rule — Top 50 plus ties, plus those within 10 strokes — was implemented beginning with the 2014 Masters. The most recent cut rule prior to 2014 was only Top 44 plus ties (and the 10-strokes rule).

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