Elimination of 10-shot rule cuts Bubba, 21 others

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The Olympic Club will challenge a weekend field of 72 players in the 112th U.S. Open. Had the U.S. Golf Association not ditched the 10-shot rule, however, the Saturday tee sheet would have been much longer.

Last year, the USGA Executive Committee voted to eliminate a rule allowing any player within 10 shots of the lead to make the 36-hole cut. Only the top 60 players and ties advanced to the weekend.

The cut came at 8 over par. With the lead trio of Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk and David Toms tied at 1 under par, the 10-shot rule would have afforded another 22 players the chance to finish the U.S. Open.

Those cut at 9 over included Dustin Johnson, Ryo Ishikawa, Casey Martin, 2009 U.S. Open champion Lucas Glover, Masters champion Bubba Watson and Masters runner-up Louis Oosthuizen.

Consider it bad timing, for those players, to eliminate the 10-shot rule, but it had been used sparingly in the last 15 years. Only four times had the rule been in effect in that span.

Had the 10-shot rule remained this year, the 94-player weekend field may have required the USGA to group players in threesomes or send them off the first and ninth tees.