RBC Heritage

Harbour Town Golf Links

Genesis Invitational

Does Tiger Woods' event have a 36-hole cut this week? Yes, but it's quirky.

February 14, 2024

Ben Jared

LOS ANGELES — In the Zoom calls and board-room meetings at PGA Tour headquarters last year, as plans were being formulated for eight $20 million “signature events” with limited fields for 2024, there was a wrinkle that needed to be ironed out. Would all of these tournaments be no-cut events, considering that their starting fields would number roughly 70 to 80 players?

For consistency, and a clearer understanding for how these signature events would play out, it figured that they would all follow the same format, tour officials preferring not to have a cut so sponsors could be guaranteed that top players would be playing all four rounds. However, the negotiations ended up going on a different track. The three tournaments that could be considered “legacy” events, with legends as their hosts—the late Arnold Palmer's Invitational at Bay Hill, Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial and Tiger Woods’ Genesis Invitational—reportedly pushed for continuing to have a 36-hole cut.

The tour ultimately agreed, and thus these three events, starting with this week’s stop at Riviera Country Club, will see some players going home early—but it could be only a handful. The field here begins with 70 players, which for most tour events is around the number of players who make the cut and play on the weekend (standard tour events have a low 65 and ties number for the cutline). But after 36 holes, only the top 50 players and ties will be moving on at Riviera, as well as anyone 10 shots or closer to the lead.

If that second part sounds familiar, it’s because that was long the Masters formula, though Augusta National did away with the 10-shot rule in 2020.

For comparison, last year, when the Genesis field started with 129 entrants, Max Homa led after two rounds at 10 under. The cut came at two over, with 68 players making the weekend. Under this year's setup, those who shot one under last year and made the cut—including Woods—would not play this weekend.

Is it confusing to some? Yes. Does it need to be? The players likely aren’t in agreement on that.

“I generally think they should all look the same if they can,” Adam Scott said on Tuesday. “I know that might be tricky with Pebble Beach because it's a pro-am so that's a slightly different one, but, generally, I think they should all have cuts or all not have cuts. That's how I would answer that. I don't mind. I mean, I would pick probably what is the best decision for television sponsors, fans, that's what I would pick. But I think it would be a better look for people following the tour if it was more similar, so it was easier to follow along with what's going on rather than different things every week.”

It will certainly be worthwhile to make the cut this week. The winner gets $4 million, while the 50th player, not accounting for ties, gets $52,000.