For the 42nd time since implementing a new cut rule in 2008, the PGA Tour had a third-round cut on Saturday at the Sony Open in Hawaii.
With 80 players making the halfway cut on 1 under, per Tour regulations, the field was cut at Waialae to the number nearest 70. Exactly 70 players tee it up on Sunday with a chance to win the first full-field event of the year. Then 10 players who were cut after the third round will receive prize money for finishing T-71.
Four years ago, the Tour implemented a new cut policy designed to reduce logistical problems created by larger weekend fields. Initially, if 78 or more professionals made the 36-hole cut, then an event would make its the halfway cut down to the number nearest 70. After happening immediately upon implementation at the '08 Sony to widespread player scrutiny, the Tour amended the rule to chop the field a second time to allow players a chance to earn a spot in the final round.
The Sony Open is now the only event which has applied the so-called Rule 78 on four occasions. Nine other events have done so in multiple years, including three which have done it three times.
The AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am required it in 2008 and '09, with a starting field of 180 players, and in 2010, after the field was reduced to 156. The Shell Houston Open did so in each of the last two seasons and would have in 2009, but rain delays forced the weekend field to complete the final 36 holes without repairing and another cut. The RBC Canadian Open had a third round cut from 2008-10.