The Masters has always had a limited field, but in 1957 it instituted a 36-hole cut with the low 40 players and ties moving on.
In 1962, the cut was changed to low 44 and ties. In 1966, the cut was amended to include anyone within 10 shots of the lead at the midway point.
In 2013, club and tournament Chairman Billy Payne announced that the cut would be expanded to include the top 50 players and ties, plus anyone within 10 strokes of the leader.
“We believe offering more playing opportunities for the participants over the weekend is a positive for everyone involved,” Payne said in 2013.
No player has ever come back from 10 shots down to win the Masters - the largest 36-hole comeback was eight by Jack Burke Jr. in 1956 - but it is possible. Two low rounds on the weekend can get a player into the mix, but he has to be in it to win it.
Gary Player and Fred Couples share the record for most cuts made in a row – 23.
Player’s streak went from 1959 to 1982 (he sat out 1973 because of a medical issue), while Couples compiled his mark from 1983-2007.
Competitors who miss the cut are welcome to stick around Augusta National and watch the weekend action, but most professionals choose to move on.
That is unless they happen to be the defending champion, who is required to help the winner slip into his green jacket at the conclusion of play.
Jack Nicklaus missed the cut in 1967 after winning in both 1965 and 1966. That earned him the lead headline the next day in The Augusta Chronicle with “Golden Bear muffs cutoff by a stroke.” Rounds of 72 and 79 derailed his attempt at a third consecutive win.
“There’ll be another day,” said Nicklaus, who became the first defending champ to miss the cut. “The world isn’t going to change that much just because this happened to me.”