Do Scores Reset After the Cut?


No, golf scores do not reset after the cut. After the cut is made in a golf tournament, players who qualify continue to carry forward their scores from the previous rounds into the remaining rounds of the competition. The player with the lowest total score at the end of the tournament is declared the winner.

Understanding the cut rules adds strategy and significance to a golf tournament. The cut is usually made after the first two rounds, with only a certain number of players advancing based on their scores. This ensures intense competition, involving only those with a realistic chance of contending for the title. Every stroke becomes crucial as players strive to cut, making the early rounds pivotal in shaping the showdown. It also keeps the tournament exciting by focusing on the top-performing golfers.

In this article, you will learn about the cut rules to fully understand the answer to the question: do scores reset after the cut?

What is the cut rule in the PGA?

In regular PGA Tour tournaments, the cut rule determines which golfers continue playing after a certain number of holes. After 36 holes, the field is trimmed to the lowest 70 scores and ties. If this results in more than 78 golfers making the cut, a second cut occurs after 54 holes, again selecting the low 70 scores plus ties.

PGA Tour events consist of 72 holes played over four days. The 36-hole cut happens after the second round, usually on Friday. This means that after the second round, there will be around 154 golfers, but only about 70 will continue into the third round.

Golfers who don’t cut are said to have “missed the cut,” while those who continue have “cut.” Typically, the first cut to the lowest 70 scores is sufficient, and the second cut is rarely needed, occurring only in a few tournaments each year on the PGA Tour. Other tours don’t use the second-cut rule.

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According to a post by ESPN, starting this year, 2024, the PGA Tour will introduce notable changes to its cut rule in response to competitive challenges, particularly from the LIV Golf League.

Eight designated tournaments will now have smaller fields of 70 to 80 players, removing the cut rule for these events. This change is intended to guarantee significant prize money, eliminate cuts, and motivate top players by awarding FedEx Cup points, resulting in a more exciting and competitive atmosphere.

What is the Master Cut Rule?

In the Masters Tournament, scores don’t start over after the cut. Players get stuck with them throughout the golf event, which usually has 72 holes, like in major tournaments such as the PGA. The cut happens after two rounds, and players who match a specific score get to play in the last two rounds, avoiding elimination.

During the first two days, players are grouped randomly or based on their fan bases for media attention. But after the cut, players who made it through are grouped based on their scores. Usually, the top 50 players and those with similar scores continue to the last round while the rest are out.

In the third and fourth rounds, players are paired based on their standings, with the lower-scoring players going first in the morning, gradually moving up the leaderboard. The scores from day three also affect how players are paired in the final round.

Resetting scores after the cut wouldn’t make sense because scores are crucial for pairing players in the later rounds. The cut is generally within ten strokes of the leader unless someone is way ahead after two rounds. Everyone within ten strokes still has a chance to make an impact with a strong weekend. Simply put, scores keep adding up.

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Players who don’t cut are out of the tournament, while those who do continue to play on Saturday and Sunday. At the end of all four days, the player with the lowest total score wins the tournament.

How Does the Master’s Scoring Work?

Understanding how scores work in the Masters Tournament is crucial to figuring out which players move forward. In golf, a course has 18 holes, each with a par rating of 3, 4, or 5. The total par for the entire course usually ranges from 70 to 72. A player’s score starts at level par on the first tee and serves as their running total throughout the game.

If a player finishes a hole with a par score, like three strokes on a par 3, their running total stays the same. Going under par on a hole means subtracting that score from the overall total, while going over par adds to the running total. The goal is to finish the game with as few strokes as possible, aiming to be under par.

At the Masters Tournament, players are ranked after two rounds based on this scoring system. The top 50 scores and ties then move on to the next rounds, with the overall scores used on the last day to determine the winner. Players who don’t cut have to withdraw from the tournament. With its focus on being under par, this scoring system is a distinctive feature of the Masters Tournament.

How many golfers cut?

Typically, in a golf tournament, the cut is set to include around 70 golfers who perform the best in the initial rounds.

However, not cutting doesn’t signify the end of a golfer’s career; it’s a shared experience even for the top players. Take Tiger Woods, a golf legend who, despite his immense success, missed the cut 20 times from 1999 to 2019.

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The cut is a crucial part of tournaments, ensuring that only the top-performing players advance to the later stages. It adds an element of competition and challenges even the most skilled golfers. This system encourages consistency and excellence throughout the tournament.

Do players who miss the cut get paid?

Players only get paid if they make the cut in many professional golf tours, like the PGA Tour and DP World Tour. Usually, the top 65 players (and ties) in regular events make it to the final rounds and earn money, while the others get nothing. This system helps focus the competition on the weekend, ensuring that only those with a real chance of winning continue to play.

However, there are some exceptions, especially in major tournaments where the number of players cutting varies slightly. For instance, it’s the top 50 at the Masters, the top 70 at the PGA Championship and the Open, and the top 60 at the US Open. Interestingly, even those who miss the cut in Majors get paid, perhaps as a small reward for qualifying for one of golf’s most significant events.

In some recent Majors, players who missed the cut received $4,000 at the 2023 PGA Championship, $10,000 at the 2023 Masters, varied amounts at the 2022 Open Championship, and $10,000 at the 2022 US Open.


To truly understand the dynamics of a golf tournament, it’s essential to realize that golf scores aren’t reset after the cut. The cut rule, intended to ensure that only the top-performing players move on to the later stages, adds excitement to the event and contributes to its overall competitiveness and thrill.

So, next time you watch a golf tournament, knowing about the cut rule will enhance your understanding of how players navigate each round to claim victory ultimately.



Hello, I'm Fredrick, and I have a genuine passion for golf. With over 15 years of immersion in the golfing industry, I've not only played the game extensively but also honed my skills in crafting informational guides on golf. Golf is not just a sport to me; it's a way of life, and I'm thrilled to share my expertise with fellow enthusiasts.