The first day of the Masters Tournament in Augusta (Ga.) is wrapped up, with the biggest storyline being Tiger Woods finishing just 2-under and within striking distance of the top of the leaderboard.
As Kyle Porter of CBS Sports writes, Woods’ opening round snatched the attention of all in attendance.
On a hot, tough scoring day at Augusta National to open the 2019 Masters, Tiger Woods produced the lone early reverberation down the second nine when he buried a slippery 25-foot putt on No. 14 to get to 3 under and soar to the top of the leaderboard. It sent a mini tremor of conversation up and down the hills of the old fruit nursery as Woods, who has not finished in the top 10 at the Masters since 2013, temporarily tied for the lead with his third birdie in six holes.
While the 43-year old made some noise, one of the other favorites is threatening to miss the cut. Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy scuffled to 1-over par, currently seven strokes behind leader co-leaders Brooks Koepka and Bryson DeChambeau (six-under).
How exactly do the cut rules work at Augusta National? Let’s look into the explanation before predicting what the cut line will be and if certain struggling stars will make it.
2019 Masters Cut Rules
According to National Club Golfer, the Masters cut rules work differently than the PGA Tour, which cuts golfers outside the top-70 in most tournaments.
After the first two rounds, a cut will be made in which the top 50 players and ties on the leaderboard will qualify to play over the weekend.
In addition to this, any players that finish round two within 10 shots of the leader will also be sticking around for the weekend.
If players are inside the top 50 and ties but are more than 10 shots back then they will make the cut.
2019 Masters Cut Line Predictions
The two cut line setters at the moment are Koepka and DeChambeau. Phil Mickelson is one back at five-under while Dustin Johnson and Ian Poulter are four-under.
Let’s assume that one, if not multiple of those golfers play under-par on Friday. That would lift the top score to something in the range of 7 or 8-under. According to the Masters rules, the cut line would be 2-over (if outside the top-50).
McIlroy is probably safe if he plays at least par-level golf in the 2nd round. If he’s anywhere over par, he’ll likely fall outside of the top-50 or more than 10 strokes behind the leader.
Other stars that could have problems include multiple majors winner Jordan Spieth and the current No. 1 ranked golfer in the world in England’s Justin Rose. Both are three-over par after the opening round.
The last time McIlroy missed a cut was at the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills. Rose failed to advance past the first two rounds at last August’s Northern Trust Open, while Spieth flamed out early at this year’s Players Championship.
Without even a modest rebound Friday at Augusta, all three could be seeing early exits before they know it.