Taking place from April 6 to April 9, 2023, this event brings together some of the biggest names in the sport for a competition like no other. At the end of the day, there can only be one winner, but how that is determined can be confusing to those who don't keep up with the sport.
When it comes to the Masters, there have been changes over the years in the number of pros competing. But why are so many of them being cut? There are actually a couple of reasons for this, and it happens more often than you might realize.
What is the cut at the Masters?
A cut at the Masters has each player fighting to be one of the best on the putting green. During any golf tournament — not just this one — there are times when there's a drastic reduction in how many players are allowed to compete. Typically, these happen after every player is able to play two rounds (or 36 holes), but this isn't always the case.
Once the set number of rounds is complete, the cut will eliminate a set number of players based on pre-established rules. According to Golf Digest, the 2023 Masters cuts players after 36 holes. But over the years, the number of players who move on in the tournament and how those players are determined has changed.
Currently, after a cut, only the low 50 players and ties qualify to play during the Masters. This is unlike most other PGA Tour events, which typically see "the top 70 advance to the weekend with the score of the 70th-placed player being the score needed to make the cut," per National Club Golfer.
The rule was changed from the top 50 players and ties and anyone within 10 strokes of the leader in 2020. The 10-shot rule has been axed.
But cutting has actually been a practice in the tournament since 1957 when the 36-hole rule was put in place. At the time, the low 40 players and ties were the ones who moved on to the second set of rounds.
Why does the Masters have cuts?
According to Golf News Net, there are two main reasons why golf tournaments have cuts.
The first reason is that If there weren't cuts, there would always be a lot of players on the course. Many tournaments start out with more than 100 players. So after those two rounds, it's most likely already clear who the top players are and who would win. (The winner is the player with the lowest total score after 72 holes.)
The second reason is that tournaments typically have a specific format they stick to, so players are cut to meet those requirements.
After a player is cut from the Masters, they are welcome to keep watching the games. Although many opt to leave after they are eliminated, the previous winner of the Masters title has to stay. Per The Augusta Chronicle, the defending champion has to help the new title holder put on their green jacket once everything is over.