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You may see the abbreviation MC on the scoreboard when watching professional golf tournaments or following other competitive golf events. But what does MC mean in golf?
MC means “missed cut.” The MC acronym is placed next to players’ names on the scoreboard when they did not make the cut to continue in the tournament. Usually, the cut is made after the second of four rounds and reduces the number of players competing in the event by about half. Only players with qualifying scores in the first part of a golf tournament will make the cut and continue to play in the second half.
This article has everything you need to know about missed cuts in golf. We;ve included some examples of MC to illustrate the meaning and explanations of other terms that you will see in similar golf situations.
What Does MC Mean in Golf
Missed cut is abbreviated as MC in golf events. The cut in golf is when some players are removed from the field of players based on their performance. Only the top players in the first part of the tournament will move on to the second part.
Typically, the cut comes after the second of four rounds, as it does in a PGA tournament. For the first two days, everyone will play. Then, only the players who make the cut will play for the rest of the tournament.
And, sometimes, there are two cuts in a tournament. Only the players who have been playing the best golf that week will continue to the final two rounds.
There are a few common reasons for the field to be cut during a golf tournament. First, cutting down the number of players enables twosomes instead of threesomes or foursomes. Playing with just one other player on a hole makes the round go faster and means the players spend less time waiting between shots.
The cut is also important in the PGA and other televised golf events because it happens before the Saturday and Sunday rounds. Weekend rounds are the most watched part of the tournament and fewer players provides a better viewing experience for the fans at home.
When there are fewer players in the field, the tee times can start later in the day. This allows television producers to air the event during prime viewing hours. The players can also sleep a little longer, which might help them play better and make the tournament more appealing for everyone involved.
Furthermore, fewer players mean less wear and tear on the course throughout the day. Golf course conditions will always deteriorate as more players go thru the course.
The fewer players in the field, the less damage they cause to the course during the day. Having fewer players on the course makes the conditions more fair for the leaders playing in the later groups.
Learn more about determining playing order in golf events.
How Is the Cut Determined in Golf?
The cut is not predetermined by a certain target score. Instead, the cut is based on a total number of players that are allowed to move on to the later rounds.
For example, the PGA tends to cut the starting field in half at the cut. A tournament usually sets the cut number before the tournament starts. Then, after the second round, the top half of the players will continue, and the other half will be cut.
It makes more sense to create the cut line to include a certain number of people instead of targeting a specific score. There is no way to know how the golfers will perform or how difficult the golf course conditions will be during the event.
If the course is easier and the weather is nice, the players will tend to score lower. If a certain score cut was set, too many players would make the cut.
On the other hand, the course could be setup harder than expected. Or if the weather is bad and there is a lot of wind or rain, scores will likely be much higher. Fewer people would shoot under the cut number, and the final field size would be considerably smaller than necessary.
Since golf scores can change drastically based on the course setup and weather conditions, it makes more sense to determine the cut based on a certain proportion of the players in the original field.
This way, no matter which way the scores are trending, the correct proportion of players will be able to make the cut and the weekend rounds will go smoothly.
It’s also worth noting that the cut number may not be exactly half of the field. Ties can expand the total number of players that advance. The cut line is usually set as a minimum score. Any ties will push the total number of players that make the cut slightly over the intended number.
Examples of MC in Golf
Now that we know that MC means to miss the cut in golf, let’s look at some example cuts in golf.
PGA tournaments usually have around 132 to 156 players at the start of the tournament. Everyone will play on the first two days of the tournament, and the cut will take place after the second round.
The PGA tends to use the cut to reduce the field by about half the number of players that started the event. If a tournament starts with 144 players, a common number for a PGA tournament, the cut will attempt to bring the field down to around 70 players.
However, if there are ties, the number of players making the cut will be set as close as possible to 70 without unfairly eliminating anyone. The goal is to have less than 78 people on the final day of a PGA tournament, but it’s possible the number goes over 78.
If there are more than 78 players remain after the cut, there will be a second cut after the third day of the tournament. During the second cut, the field will again be brought down to 70 players and ties.
The difference between the first and second cuts is all about prize money for tour professionals. Players cut in the first cut do not receive prize money or points. But, players cut after three rounds will receive their winnings but will not play in the final round.
Another good example is the Masters tournament, which is one of the four major golf championships. The Masters starts with a smaller field. Since fewer people start the tournament, officials try to cut the field for the final rounds down to 50 or so players.
What Does MDF Mean in Golf?
Another abbreviation you may see is MDF, which means “made cut, didn’t finish.” But what does that mean exactly?
As discussed above, sometimes there will be a second cut if too many players make it past the first cut. If there is a second cut, players who made it past the first cut but not the second are designated as MDF.
This second abbreviation for players who miss a cut is needed to clarify the difference. They cannot all be assigned MC since the players who miss the first cut are not awarded any prize money. However, the MDF players will still earn their prizes even though they will not play in the final round.
What Does DFL Mean in Golf?
Another term you might hear is DFL. Unlike MC and MDF, DFL is not an official golf term. Instead, it is a funny golf term that is used for casual rounds of golf among friends.
DFL is a slag abbreviation for “dead f***ing last.” You will never see this on a PGA scorecard. However, if you want to make fun of a friend who played badly, you can say they are DFL. It’s a perfect zinger for your backyard golf game or Saturday afternoon golf drinking game.
For a more family-friendly term, you can say someone “brought up the rear” or is “at the back of the pack.”
MC, which means missed cut in golf, signifies which golfers did not make the cut in a tournament. The purpose of a cut is to reduce the size of the field for the final rounds of a golf tournament or competitive event. Reducing the field size has many benefits for the players and the viewers.
Looking for more information on common golf abbreviation? See our recent article on what WD means in golf, and another post that explains what GIR means in golf.
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