AUGUSTA, Ga., April 10 (UPI) -- The Masters will have an expanded cut this year, as well as tighter rules on who can qualify to play, tournament Chairman Billy Payne announced Wednesday.
Payne said the cut at the 2013 Masters, which begins Thursday, will be boosted from 44 to 50 players and ties, as well as to all players within 10 strokes of the leader. Fewer hopefuls will be invited to participate under three new amendments to the qualifying rules.
Under current rules, golfers who have previously finished among the event's Top 16 get invitations, but that has been reduced to Top 12 finishes. In addition, invitations will be extended only to Top 4 finishers at the U.S. Open, half of the current Top 8, making The Masters consistent with fellow majors the British Open and the PGA Championship.
Payne said the changes were necessary in part to "afford all players a reasonable expectation of completion in the reduced hours of sunlight available each spring" at a time when "our field of participating players has grown."