Projected Masters Cut: What will the 2023 line be?

Projected Masters Cut: What will the 2023 line be?

Just like the vast majority of PGA Tour events, the Masters has a cut line after two rounds of action where a portion of the field is cut from the competition. However, the way that the cut is decided at Augusta National is different to almost every other competition in the world.

On a standard PGA Tour event, the top 65 players after 36 hole secure safe passage through to the weekend. However, at the Masters, this isn’t the case due to the field being significantly smaller than a regular PGA Tour event.

This year, there are 88 players teeing it up at the Masters which means having the cut line at the top 65 wouldn’t really do an awful lot to the field as only 23 players would miss out on the weekend’s action. Therefore a harsher cut line will be in place.

For the LIV golfers playing at the Masters this week, the cut line is something of an alien concept. There is no cut line at LIV Golf events, which was one of the reasons that attracted so many golfers to the Saudi-backed tour in the first place.

The cut at the Masters – a history

The cut line at the Masters has gone through a series of changes over the years. It was first introduced in 1957 when players needed to be in the top 40 on the leaderboard after the opening two rounds to qualify for rounds three and four. Five years later, this was altered slightly so that the top 44 players would be eligible for the weekend.

In 1966, the first major change to the cut rules at Augusta National was made. As well as the top 44 players making the cut, anyone who was within ten strokes of the leader would also make it through to the weekend. This meant that if the field was tightly bunched, no one would be dumped out of the tournament while they were still reasonably close to the leader.

These rules stayed in place right up until 2013 when tournament organisers felt that further change was necessary with more players qualifying for the tournament. As a result, they expanded the cut line to the top 50 but retained the ten-stroke deficit market.

In 2020, the rules were changed once more. The ten-shot deficit rule which was brought in over 50 years ago was scrapped meaning that only the top 50 players on the leaderboard after Friday’s rounds would qualify to play over the weekend. These are the same cut rules that will be applied at the 2023 Masters.

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What was the cut line at the 2022 Masters?

Last year, when Scottie Scheffler won his first green jacket, the cut line at the Masters was +4, which was considered to be quite high based on recent years. Ironically, this meant that those who scraped through to the weekend were more than ten shots behind the leader at the halfway point.

Scheffler was firmly in control of the tournament after the opening two rounds last year and he was sitting pretty with a score of -8 on Friday evening, five shots clear of his nearest competitor. It meant that some players were as many as 12 shots behind Scheffler going into the weekend.

In 2021, the cut line was +3 while in 2020 it was as high as even par. The 2020 edition of the Masters is considered an anomaly as the tournament was played in November and without a crowd due to the coronavirus pandemic which made conditions easier around Augusta.

What will the cut line be at the 2023 Masters?

Since the cut was brought into play at the 1957 Masters, the average cut line has been 148.4 which is in between +4 and +5. However, as players and equipment have improved this average has steadily been decreasing in recent times meaning the average across the past ten years sits closer to the +3 mark.

One factor which could impact the cut line this year is the weather. The forecast for the tournament this week looks relatively wet, especially late on Friday which could push the cut line higher than usual as the players look to battle the elements.

Projected cut line Masters 2023

The standard on day one at the Masters this year was exceptionally good with 36 players shooting a score of -1 or better. As a result, the cut line is around the +1 mark as things stand. However, with bad weather expected throughout Friday afternoon, the standard is expected to dip on day two. Therefore, our early projected cut line is +2.

If the cut line is indeed +2 then Tiger Woods faces an uphill battle to make it through to the weekend. The 15-time major champions posted a score of +2 yesterday meaning he will have to go around Augusta at even par on Friday if he wants to continue playing on Saturday and Sunday.

Other notable players who are at risk of missing the cut after day one are 2011 Masters champion, Charl Schwartzel, two-time Masters champion Bubba Watson and the big-hitting Bryson DeChambeau.

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