Working on the Weekend
May 17, 2019

PGA Championship 2019: How they determine the 36-hole cut at the PGA Championship


Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. — Should Brooks Koepka post another low number on Friday at Bethpage Black, how might it impact the cut at the 101st PGA Championship? The answer: Not much.

Unlike at the Masters, the PGA does not use the 10-stroke rule to help determine who will be playing all 72 holes. According to the PGA Championship’s official guidelines: “Following the first 36 holes of play, the field of 156 players will be reduced to the low 70 scores and ties. Those players will advance to complete the final two rounds.”

This is the same "cut rule" as used at the Open Championship. The U.S. Open makes a cut at the low 60 players and ties. The Masters has a cut at the low 40 players and ties, or anyone within 10 strokes over the 36-hole leader.

A year ago at Bellerive, the PGA Championship cut line fell at even-par 140 with 80 players advancing to the weekend. In 2017, at Quail Hollow it was five-over 147 with 75 players playing all four rounds.

The PGA Championship instituted a cut when the tournament changed from a match-play to stroke-play format in 1958. Originally, however, the championship had a double cut, one after 36 holes and a second cut after 65 holes. The championship reverted back to a single 36-hole cut in 1965 and has had it ever since.

For history buffs, Raymond Floyd and Jack Nicklaus have made the most cuts—27—of any players in PGA Championship history. Floyd made 27 in 31 PGA starts while Nicklaus made 27 in 37 appearances.

Here’s the next best players in PGA history: Tom Watson, 25 of 33
Hale Irwin, 24 of 26
Arnold Palmer, 24 of 37
Phil Mickelson, 23 of 26
Jay Haas, 23 of 28
Tom Kite, 23 of 28
Gary Player, 21 of 23

One of the bigger questions at the PGA is also whether any of the 20 club professionals competing will make the cut. Just three times since 2011 has a club pro made it to the weekend in the championship: Brian Gaffney in 2015, Omar Uresti in 2017 and Ben Kern in 2018.

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