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In sports betting the term ‘the cut’ can refer to two completely different things. In the Las Vegas sportsbooks the cut is the name given to the amount the house (or casino) makes from a wager. They will alter the odds to even up the amount bet on either side of an event to produce their cut.
The other ‘cut’, which is more commonly associated with golf betting, refers to the reduction of the amount of players in a stroke play tournament. There are different cuts for different events but it is a way of thinning the field for the final rounds.
A similar term can also be used in horse racing – the cut in the ground.
A number of the most famous golf tournaments introduce a cut – usually after the first two rounds – to reduce the field and produce a more tightly contested competition. The Open and the Masters both use a cut to bring the number of players down from a relatively large amount at the start of their first rounds.
Bettors are usually able to place wagers on whether or not a player will make the cut – meaning that they will be in the top 70 (if that is the cut off point) at the end of the second round. Placing an outright bet before the cut has taken place will normally ensure better value, as there is no guarantee that the player – however well regarded – will even make the final rounds.
In 2007 six former champions failed to make the cut at the Open at Carnoustie. Paul Lawrie, Justin Leonard, John Daly, Nick Faldo, Todd Hamilton and Tony Jacklin all failed to make the four over par barrier.