For second straight week, 54-hole playoff cut looms


NORTON, Mass. – For the second time in as many weeks, a secondary cut looms in the FedEx Cup playoffs.

A total of 93 players teed it up this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and only 92 completed 36 holes after Pat Perez withdrew during the second round because of a bulging disc. Despite the limited field, 80 players finished at 3-over 145 or better, necessitating a 54-hole cut.

Whenever more than 78 professionals make the cut, PGA Tour officials trim the field again to the low 70 plus ties after the third round.

The rule is born largely out of logistical purposes for weekend television broadcasts, but it rarely affects the FedEx Cup postseason. Before this year, a secondary cut had occurred just once in the playoffs, at the 2008 Deutsche Bank Championship.

Deutsche Bank Championship: Articles, videos and photos

Last week at The Barclays, 79 players made the 36-hole cut, and the field was trimmed to exactly 70 after the third round. Among the 54-hole casualties were Phil Mickelson and Ryan Palmer, who holds a share of the 36-hole lead at TPC Boston. After an opening-round 63, Palmer explained that he feels the secondary cut doesn’t belong in the postseason, where a single low round can potentially change a player’s entire outlook for the following year.

It was a sentiment echoed Saturday by Brendon de Jonge, who snuck inside the number after rounds of 77-67 but whose final-round fate remains undecided.

“I wish they’d change the rule for the playoffs,” de Jonge said. “Give someone a chance to go out there on Sunday and shoot a really good score, and it can make a big difference.”