Who Makes the Cut at the Masters Golf Tournament?

By Michael Joseph

Every April, Augusta National in Augusta, Georgia hosts the Masters Tournament. The Masters Tournament is steeped in tradition and is one of the few invitation-only professional golf tournaments. The Masters Committee makes the ultimate decision on invites, and only those playing well make the weekend cut.

36-Hole Cut

In 1957, a 36-hole cut was instituted. At that time, the low 40 scoring players and ties and those within 10 strokes of the leader after Friday's round would qualify for the weekend. It was changed to the low 44 players and ties in 1961. Since 2013, the top 50 players plus ties and those within 10 strokes of the leader are invited to play the third and fourth rounds. 

Who gets in?

All past champions receive an invite. The top 16 players and ties from the previous year's Masters also receive an invite.

Major Tournament Results

The past five champions of the PGA Championship, U.S. Open and British Open all receive invites to the Masters. The top eight players and ties in the previous year's U.S. Open earn invites, and the top four players and ties in both the previous year's PGA Championship and British Open punch their ticket. The past three champions of the Players Championship get invited.

Other Invitees

The previous year's top 30 on the PGA Tour money list, winners of PGA events that award Tour Championship points (from last year's Masters to the current Masters), qualifiers for last year's Tour Championship, the Top 50 in the final Official World Rankings from the previous year and the top 50 in the Official World Ranking the week prior to the current Masters are all invited.

Amateur Competitors

Certain amateur golfers can compete at the Masters as an amateur if they won any of the following amateur tournaments in the prior year: the United States Amateur, British Amateur, Asian Amateur, U.S. Amateur Public Links or U.S. Mid-Amateur. The runner-up to the U.S. Amateur also receives an invite.

About The Author

Michael Joseph is a golf industry professional in New Jersey. He has worked as a golf professional, instructor, and clubmaker. Joseph's education includes a degree in golf operations management and a certification in club-fitting from The Golf Academy of America (formally the San Diego Golf Academy). Joseph shares his golf experience and knowledge with others by writing articles for Demand Media Studios and Golflink.com.

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