12 April 2019: When Adam Scott stood over a downhill birdie putt on the 18th hole at the Masters late Friday afternoon, more than his own score, and a chance at the outright lead at 8-under par, was at stake.
Scott’s 13-footer came up 2 inches short of the cup on the rain-slowed putting surface, assuring that all nine players who were in the Clubhouse at 3-over would be spared the cut unless anyone still out on the course could reach 8-under. No one did.
Of the 87 golfers in the field, a record total of 65 qualified for weekend play. The previous record was 64 in 1966. The top 50 and ties and – crucially on Friday – those players within 10 strokes of the lead remain in the field for the final two rounds.
Oosthuizen was the last of the leaders to complete his round on a long, wet day that included a brief suspension of play because of a thunderstorm in the area around Augusta National. The South African was at 7-under par through 15 holes but failed to make birdie on any of his final three holes. Tiger Woods, also playing late in the day, reached 6-under with a birdie at No. 15, but despite hitting excellent approaches at Nos. 17 and 18, he failed to birdie either hole.
Those who survived the 36-hole cut “on the number,” as the saying goes, included 2007 Masters winner Zach Johnson, two-time major champion Martin Kaymer, Billy Horschel, Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, England’s Eddie Pepperell, Alex Noren of Sweden, Branden Grace of South Africa, and a pair of amateurs Devon Bling and Takumi Kanaya. Kanaya, a 20-year-old from Hiroshima, Japan, who earned his Masters invitation by winning the 2018 Asia-Pacific Amateur Championship, played his last five holes in 2-under to bring his total to 3-over par. In all, four amateurs made the cut, the most to do so since 1999.
The oldest player in the field to make the cut was 61-year-old Bernhard Langer of Germany, the 1985 and 1993 Masters champion. Langer shot even-par 72 on Friday after posting a 71 on Thursday. He is tied for 29th place at 1-under, six strokes behind the leaders.
Langer’s accuracy off the tee was a key to his being able to compete with golfers as young as a third his age. He hit 25 of 28 fairways over the first two rounds.
“I’m 40 yards behind everybody,” Langer said. “If you hit it short you better hit it straight, right? Short and crooked would be pretty bad.
“I’m hitting a 4?iron and they’re hitting a 9?iron. I would rather hit a 9?iron and have a little less experience.”
Notable players who missed the cut included the world No. 1 Justin Rose, who bogeyed the 17th and 18th holes to shoot 73 for a 36-hole total of 148. That score was matched by Sergio Garcia, the 2017 Masters champion, who also dropped a stroke to par at 18. Fifty-nine-year-old Fred Couples, the 1992 Green Jacket winner, shot 78-71 to finish at 5-over par and miss the cut for only the fourth time in 34 Masters appearances.
The 36-hole cut was instituted in 1957. Initially, it included the low 40 scorers and ties. It was expanded in 1962 to the low 44 and those within 10 strokes of the lead. Since 2013, the cut has included the low 50 and ties plus those within 10 strokes of the pace.
Republished from the Masters