The Masters has made a change to how the cut will be applied this weekend on the eve of the much-anticipated 2020 event, which has already seen a series of changes implemented as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
In what is the first change to the cut line at Augusta National in seven years, organisers will allow only the top 50 players plus ties to progress to the weekend’s action, regardless of their score.
This means Augusta National Golf Club has done away with the previous rule, which saw players within 10 shots of the leader plus ties make the cut, which represents a sizable breakaway from tradition.
The move has been forced on organisers due to the coronavirus pandemic, with the major being staged six months later than planned in the middle of autumn. As a result, daylight hours in Georgia will be significantly shorter this year, meaning fewer tee times will be available when the field is reduced to two-ball pairings rather than the three-ball groups on Thursday and Friday.
Last year, the 10-shot ruling meant that 65 of the 87-player field progressed to the third round, whereas it is far more likely for a reduced number of players to make the weekend’s action this time around.
An announcement from Augusta National on Monday read: “Beginning with the 2020 Masters Tournament, the low 50 players and ties will qualify for the final 36 holes.
“This is the first change to the cut since 2013.”
Although it has only been seven years since the last change to the cut regulations, it is the most significant change to the cut regulations since the 10-shot rule was introduced in 1962.
Although The Masters was first held in 1934, the cut was not introduced until 1957, when it was set at a challenging top 40 plus ties. The rule was changed five years later to include the 10-shot rule along with the top 44 plus ties, a regulation that remained in place for 40 years.
The most recent change in 2013 saw the cut expanded to the lowest 50 players and those within 10 shots of the lead plus ties, which meant that last year only 22 players missed out on the weekend and ensured that few of the big names missed out.
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