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Frank-0-Sport

PGA Tour Changes 36-Hole Cut Mark from Low-70 to Low-65

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As most folks may now be learning, the PGA Tour membership has approved a policy change effective with the 2019-20 season. The 36-hole cut mark of Low-70 and ties will be reduced down to the Low-65 and ties.  Additionally, the MDF Low-78 policy will be done away with. MDF Low-78 was in effect if more than 78 players made the 36-hole cut and played the 3rd round. After 54 holes, the MDF Low-78 policy called for those not among the Low-70 and ties to be excluded from the 4th round field, and yet they would still receive appropriate shares of money and  Fed Ex points.

The PGA Tour also stated that starting field size for events opposite the British Open or a World Golf Championship will be reduced from 132 to 120 for 2019-20 and beyond. However, those events will have the right to include up to (I am assuming) 12 extra players from the Korn Ferry (formerly WEB-dot-Com) Tour.

One item not confirmed or discussed (so far) is the possible re-arrangement of the PGA Tour's 70-place prize money distribution formula, used since the 1979 season, to allow for 1st prize to be 20% of the purse, instead of the current 18%.

Even with the change of the money distribution formula from 70 places to 65, achieving a first prize of 20% will require significant changes to the payouts for several individual places. And while the Tour has not yet announced a new 65-place distribution formula, I have constructed a "guess-timation" 65-place formula which may be pretty close to what is to be offered. Both the current 70-place, 18%-1st formula and my guess-timated 65-place, 20%-1st place formula are presented below for your reference.

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.PGATour-MonyChart-1979.thumb.jpg.eb61d26e4e038eb912662dc6cdb3dddd.jpg

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PGATour-MonyChart-Suggested-2019.thumb.jpg.2086b0af08dbbd8a6b3005dc23c22443.jpg...

 

Edited by Frank-0-Sport

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I like the idea of limiting cuts, but why eliminate MDF?  I thought that was a nice rule.  I might be the only one.

I imagine they checked past data and found out that, had they cut to low 65 and ties in the past X many years' of data, they'd only have had some small number of events (total) where the MDF rule would have come into play anyway

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@Shindig

Respectfully, I take a differing view -- 

If MDF-78 was the PGA Tour's way of handling large post 36-hole cuts, then the Tour misfired badly because you sometimes still had 3rd round fields of 80-or-more players. If the tournament had to deal with lengthy weather delays, then that meant additional issues such as the dreaded 36-hole final day, and no re-pairing of groups between the 3rd and 4th rounds.

Another issue with MDF-78 -- why cut down  the field to only the Low-70 and ties after 54 holes and not to Low-60, Low-50 or even Low-40, especially in recent years where 4th rounds frequently spill well over normal sign-off times?? If a 4th round goes well past 6:00pm for any reason, and then is not over by 7:00pm, TV coverage is shifted over from CBS or NBC to the Golf Channel. And there's that rare occasion when a 4th round doesn't finish until Monday, where play is also covered by Golf Channel. Does the Tour just not care about these kinds of scenarios? .

The Low-65 cut rule is going to reduce the weekend fields only so much, and if 4th round play still goes on seeming forever, then nothing is solved.

The Low-65 cut rule plus the re-composition of the prize money structure to allow for a 20% 1st prize is likely to mean lesser rewards even for those who finish 72 holes near the bottom of the pack. Also, five-or-more less players will be able to share the spoils because they'll be gone after 36 holes.  Some would say that's the way in should be. OK, fine. But does it necessarily have to be that way?

I am in favor of an initial 36-hole cut to the Low 72 players and ties. To be sure, that's likely to result in a larger post 36-hole field, but not all of those 72-plus players would advance to round-3. There would be a 2nd 36-hole cut, this one to the Low 54 players and ties, and all who make that particular cut would play the 3rd round. Those who make the Low 72 but not the Low 54 would still receive appropriate money and points shares. Two concerns resolved here -- (1) Even if they don't advance beyond 36 holes, more players get to share a little bit of the spoils; and (2) the 3rd round field is a lot less crowded, allowing for more flexible tee times and -- barring any delays -- two-player groups.

OK, so we've handled the 3rd round, now what about the 4th and final round? Well, here I propose something that many would likely find quite radical, while some others might find favor with -- a 54-hole cut to the Low 36 players and ties. Those who make the 54-hole cut would advance to the 4th round, while those who miss the 54-hole cut would receive appropriate money and points shares.

With only 36-plus players competing in Sunday's final round, the tee times scenarios can be even more flexible, but whenever possible the last twosome of the day should be hitting off of tee #1 at 1:20 pm ET (or within plus/minus two minutes of it).  With a 54-hole cut, a smaller 4th round field and more ideal tee times, conclusion of a 4th round prior to a network's normal sign-off time is more likely, Also, there would be extra time available for when a 4th round goes past 6:00pm or even 7:00pm, if it ever gets that far.

I'll stop here and allow for appropriate feedback. Later on, I'll return with some thoughts on prize money.

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1 hour ago, David in FL said:

I’m trying to think of some reason why I should care about this at all, and for the life of me, just can’t!

Because you didn't sponsor the guy who came in 68th on Friday!!!:-P

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I think it´s OK to add another cut after the 3rd round, i played and AM tournament with that rules and it seamed fair.
70 and ties vs 65 and ties isn´t that much of a change for me.  

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