U.S. Open Cut Line: What it Takes to Make the Weekend

By Patrick Foley

Rory McIlroy dejected at U.S. Open

The U.S. Open is one of the toughest tests of golf. The USGA chooses courses that give professionals all the challenge they can handle. The U.S. Open has its own 36-hole cut rules, the mid-point of the tournament, to bring the number of players down for the third and fourth rounds of play.

How the U.S. Open Cut is Determined

Continuing with recent U.S. Open cut rules, the top 60 golfers after the first two rounds of the 2023 U.S. Open at Los Angeles Country Club will make the cut, plus any golfers tied for 60th or better. 

For example, if 50 golfers are +2 or better, and 14 golfers have a score of +3, all 64 golfers +3 or better make the cut. Because players tied for 60th or better make the cut, the actual number of players who make the cut each year varies. In 1996, a record 108 golfers made the U.S. Open cut.

Reasons for Cut Rules

The cut line is put in place to keep the playing field relatively even on Saturday and Sunday. This assures that anyone playing the last two rounds has a reasonable chance of winning the U.S. Open. Cutting the field to only the players who have a chance to win or content also helps speed up the pace of play over the weekend, as fewer players on the course means fewer backups..

Making the cut at the U.S. Open comes with more than pride and a shot at the U.S. Open trophy. In addition to getting the opportunity to play the weekend, all professionals who make the cut get paid, while those who miss the cut go home empty-handed. Even a player who finishes last among those who make the cut leaves with a nice payday for the week's work. The 2022 U.S. Open included a $17,500,000 purse, with $36,843 reserved for the last-place finisher to make the weekend.

Amateur golfers who qualify for the U.S. Open cannot accept a cash prize for a golf competition and maintain their amateur status.

Average Cut Line

The cut line for the U.S. Open varies from year-to-year, but it's safe to say it will be above par. In 2021 at Torrey Pines the cut line was +5. Over the past 11 U.S. Opens from 2012 to 2022, the average cut line at the U.S. Open has been +5.2.

Long-Lasting Major

A tournament since 1895, the U.S. Open has a long-lasting tradition and it is always one of the most exciting golf tournaments to watch.


About the Author

Patrick Foley is a writer from Phoenix, AZ. He is a sports fanatic and loves football, golf, and track. He has been writing for Golf Link for almost a year. He is a college football player at the University of Pennsylvania. He is enrolled in the Wharton Business School.He has have a wide set of skills in writing and marketing.