Nicklaus Goes Silent Mode On 36-Hole Cut At Memorial

DUBLIN, Ohio (AP) — Jack Nicklaus already spoke too soon in March when he said the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am would be one of the PGA Tour’s elevated events in 2024. He was unusually muted Tuesday on the topic of whether his Memorial Tournament should have a cut.

The plan is for the elevated events to have elite fields of no more than 80 players with no cut. Tiger Woods has said he wants a 36-hole cut for the Genesis Invitational at Riviera he hosts, and that Nicklaus also wants a cut.

“I opened my mouth too soon there at the Honda before they announced anything,” Nicklaus said. “Incidentally, Jay (Monahan) wasn’t very happy with me. And I don’t blame him because I did not realize that they hadn’t done anything. And they really haven’t finalized what’s happening here, so out of fairness to Jay, I think I’ll just keep my mouth shut.

“That’s hard for me to do. You know that.”

Nicklaus generally favors a 36-hole cut, and when pressed for nothing more than an opinion, he said he would be fine with it either way.

“There’s a reason why they would not (have a cut) and there might be a reason why they would. Obviously from our standpoint here it’s a heck of a lot easier to take care of 70 or 80 players — whatever it might be — than it is 120,” Nicklaus said.

He also said it would take some stress off getting the course ready, especially if there are weather delays.

Nicklaus said he liked having a 120-man field because it kept players on the course all day for the spectators, and it gave younger players a chance to play.

Jon Rahm, meanwhile, has changed his view. The Masters champion was OK with not having a cut for elevated events. Now he would like to see it.

“I think it’s a part of the game and I think it’s an important part of the game — as harsh as it may be — to cut out maybe only 20 players,” Rahm said. “On the flip side, it’s only 20 players that you have to beat to make the cut. You earn your way into the weekend and then you earn that win.”

Rahm said the Masters has a small field — 88 players qualified this year — and has a cut to the top 50 and ties.

“And no one says anything about it,” he said.