What Is the US Open Cut Rule?

US Open FAQ: How many golfers make the cut?

US Open cut rule last changed in 2012
The current US Open cut rule went into effect with the 2012 tournament. Andrew Redington/Getty Images

The cut at the U.S. Open golf tournament takes place following two rounds (36 holes) of the four-round (72-hole) tournament. What is the cut rule, the formula the USGA uses to determine which golfers go home and which continue playing beyond 36 holes?

Which Golfers Can Make the U.S. Open Cut?

The U.S. Open cut rule is that all golfers in the top 60 plus ties make the cut. Golfers outside of the top 60 plus ties are cut from the field and fail to advance to the final two rounds of play.

The current cut rule went into effect beginning in 2012; for many years prior to that, the U.S. Open cut rule included the common "and all golfers within 10 strokes of the lead" provision. That provision meant that if a golfer was outside the Top 60 - say, in 68th place - but was within 10 strokes of the leader's score, he still made the cut. However, that 10-strokes rule was eliminated beginning in 2012.

So to repeat: The U.S. Open cut rule is Top 60 plus ties. The "plus ties" provision means that there are no playoffs for the final spots in the Top 60. Say 58 players are at +5 or better, and another seven players are at +6. All seven of those golfers at +6 make the cut because of the "plus ties" provision, so in that example, 65 golfers would make the cut. There is no limit on the number of golfers who can make the cut by virtue of the "plus ties" provision. If for example, 18 golfers are tied for 60th place, then all 18 make the cut.

The U.S. Open first used a 36-hole cut in 1904.

For the Cut Rules at Other Majors

Cut Records at the US Open

Bonus facts: Here are some U.S. Open tournament records related to making the cut.

Youngest Golfer to Make a US Open Cut
(Since World War II)
This record belongs to Beau Hossler, who made the cut - and finished tied for 29th - at the 2012 tournament.

He was 17 years, 3 months old at the time.

Oldest to Make a US Open Cut
Sam Snead set this record in 1973, when he made the cut at age 61 and finished tied for 29th place. Tom Watson is the only other 60-year-old to make a U.S. Open, which he did in 2010.

Highest 36-Hole Cut
(Since World War II)
The highest score for the cutline in a US Open (in the post-WWII era) is 155 at the 1955 tournament. Golfers that year who shot 155 - 15-over par at Olympic Club, the host site - survived to play the final two rounds.

Lowest 36-Hole Cut
And the lowest 36-hole cut ever in a US Open is 143. Golfers who scored 143 - 3-over par at Olympia Fields - in the 2003 U.S. Open got to play the final two rounds.

Most Golfers Making the Cut in a US Open
The highest number of golfers to make the cut in a U.S. Open is 108 - that's how many golfers survived the cut in 1996 at Oakland Hills Country Club.

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