What Is The Cut At The Masters?

Players in a tie for 50th place or better advance to the weekend at Augusta National...

The Masters leaderboard pictured
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It seems like an obvious question, and it would be at most other events. But the Masters is not like most other events. Augusta National likes to do things a little bit differently...

History of the Masters cut

It has always been a limited-field tournament since its inception in 1934, when Horton Smith completed a two-stroke victory over Craig Wood. And a 36-hole cut that has become tradition in the world of competitive golf wouldn’t be instituted until 1957. At that point, the Augusta National committee deemed it fair for the low 40 players and ties to move on to Saturday and Sunday.

That was then changed five years later in 1962, with the rule amended to include the low 44 and ties, as well as those within 10 shots of the lead. For 50 years that is how the cut was determined until, in 2013, the number of players to make it to the weekend was once again extended to the low 50 and ties, while the 10-shot rule remained.

Top 50 and ties make it through...

However, beginning in 2020, it is now just those in a tie for 50th place or better that make it through to compete for the fabled Green Jacket, with the 10-shot rule no longer applying. At the 2021 Masters, the cut line came at +3, with 54 players making it through to the weekend. The number of players making it through may seem like very few compared to other tournaments but due to the small field, well over half of the competitors get to play all four days.

If an odd-number of golfers make it through to the final 36-holes, Augusta course record holder Jeff Knox, one of the famous members at Augusta National, plays in the first tee time on both Saturday and Sunday as a playing marker.

Masters cut records

Six-time Masters champion and winner of 18 Majors, Jack Nicklaus, holds the record for the most cuts made at Augusta National with 37, seven clear of his nearest challenger Gary Player.

Fred Couples (1982 – 2007) and Player (1959 – 1982) share the record for the most consecutive cuts made with 23, while Tiger Woods has the longest active streak of 21.

The oldest player to make the cut was 49-year-old Bill Hyndman back in 1965, while who can forget 14-year-old Guan Tianlang, who made the weekend in 2013, despite being given a rare slow-play penalty, in one of the best ever amateur performances at The Masters

Guan Tianlang

Guan Tianlang made the cut in 2013 at the age of 14

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the lowest cut recorded was at the postponed 2020 Masters, with the soft November course conditions affording players the opportunity to adopt a more aggressive strategy. The magic 36-hole number in 2020 was 144, or level-par.

It remains to be seen whether we'll ever see the cut line out to the lofty heights of 1982 when 10-over was good enough to make the weekend.

Andrew Wright
Staff Writer

A lifelong golf fan, Andy graduated in 2019 with a degree in Sports Journalism and got his first role in the industry as the Instruction Editor for National Club Golfer. From there, he went on to enjoy a spell freelancing for Stats Perform producing football reports, and then for RacingNews365 covering Formula 1. However, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to get back into the sport he grew up watching and playing and now covers a mixture of equipment, instruction and news for Golf Monthly's website and print title.

Andy took up the game at the age of seven and even harboured ambitions of a career in the professional ranks for a spell. That didn’t pan out, but he still enjoys his weekend golf at Royal Troon and holds a scratch handicap. As a side note, he's made five holes-in-one and could quite possibly be Retief Goosen’s biggest fan.

As well as the above, some of Andy's work has featured on websites such as goal.com, dailyrecord.co.uk, and theopen.com.

What's in Andy's bag?

Driver: Callaway Mavrik Sub-Zero (9°)

3-wood: TaylorMade M1 (15°)

Driving iron: Titleist U500 (17°)

Irons: Callaway Apex Pro '19 (4-PW)

Wedges: Titleist Vokey SM9 (50°, 54° and 58°)

Putter: Titleist Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1