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The Open News



The Open cut: What is the cut line, how does it work and how many players make it?

Dustin Johnson Swing

The first cut is always the deepest and many players will spend the second round fretting about whether they’ll be back for the weekend.

Every tournament has different rules for trimming their field for the weekend - for example, the Masters only allows the top 50 to progress, or any player who is within ten shots of the halfway leader.

Up until 1985, The Open made two cuts - one after the second round and another after the third round. But rules were changed the following year meaning the field will be narrowed once after 36 holes.

Any player in 70th place or better (including ties) makes the cut while anyone in 71st place or worse is cut.

There is no ‘ten shot rule’ - after 113 players made the cut at the 1991 Open at Royal Birkdale.

There are 156 golfers in the field, so the cut line should slice them almost in half, though when ties are taken into account, the exact number can vary widely.


At the start of the second round there were 71 players at one-over or better. Before play began many experts predicted the cut would come to two-over par but Friday’s weather conditions means data suggests three-over is more likely.

In 2007 - the last time The Open came to Carnoustie - six former Champion Golfers failed to make the cut, which came at four-over par, Paul Lawrie, Justin Leonard, John Daly, Nick Faldo, Todd Hamilton and Tony Jacklin.

When The Open was staged here in 1999, the cut was even higher with ten former winners missing out, including Seve Ballesteros, Tom Watson and Gary Player.

But it’s worth remembering that eventual winner Lawrie came from ten shots back at the start of the final round to win the Claret Jug, so the main thing is just making it to the weekend.

American Dustin Johnson will be hoping for better on Friday after his five over par opening round, the last world number one to miss the cut at The Open was Luke Donald at Royal St George’s seven years ago.