What Is The Cut Rule At The Memorial Tournament?

The Jack Nicklaus-hosted tournament is one of only three signature events with a cut, but how does it work?

The 18th at Muirfield Village
Muirfield Village hosts one of three of the PGA Tour signature events with a cut
(Image credit: Getty Images)

The latest of the PGA Tour’s signature events arrived with the Memorial Tournament. Like all of the most prestigious tournaments on the PGA Tour calendar, the Muirfield Village event has attracted many of the best players in the world, but one or two elements distinguish it from five of the eight tournaments.

The Memorial Tournament, famously hosted by 18-time Major winner Jack Nicklaus, is one of three signature events that are invitationals (the other two were February’s Genesis Invitational and March’s Arnold Palmer Invitational).

Because of that, they not only offer a slightly different prize money distribution that will see this week’s winner claim 20% of the $20m purse rather than the more typical 18%, but they also have a cut, which comes at the 36-hole mark.

That wasn’t the case for The Sentry, the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, the RBC Heritage and the Wells Fargo Championship, and it won’t be for the Travelers Championship when it arrives later in the month.

The field is still limited, with 73 playing this week, although some will be saying their goodbyes to Muirfield Village for another year on Friday evening, and they won’t receive any prize money, either.

Jack Nicklaus talks to the media prior to the Memorial Tournament

Jack Nicklaus hosts the Memorial Tournament

(Image credit: Getty Images)

On the other hand, the top 50 and ties, plus any other player within 10 shots of the lead after his second round, will make it to the weekend. The size of this week’s field means that there’ll be a maximum of 23 missing the cut. However, in reality, it’s likely to be significantly less than that given the two caveats.

For reference, at the previous signature event with a cut, the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the field was 69, and only 11 failed to reach the weekend.

For those who do make it to the third round, their hopes of lifting the trophy, receiving a handshake from Nicklaus and walking away with prize money of $4m on Sunday evening will live on for another two days.

The Memorial Tournament Cut Rule

  • Top 50 and ties
  • Players within 10 shots of the lead
Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.