Cognizant Classic cut line prediction 2024: Can Fowler, Im make PGA National cut?

Rickie Fowler - The Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches
Rickie Fowler - The Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches / Brennan Asplen/GettyImages

Following a handful of weeks on the West Coast of the country, the PGA Tour headed east for the first time in 2024. This week's Cognizant Classic at PGA National, formerly known as the Honda Classic, began the tour's 'Florida Swing', a four-week stretch of events that will see the PGA make stops at PGA National, Bay Hill, TPC Sawgrass, and Innisbrook before heading back west.

PGA National is known for providing one of the sterner examinations of a player's game year in and year out, and yet, during round one of this year's Cognizant Classic at least, this year's field was able to capitalize on benign conditions and post some low tallies. On Thursday at PGA National, scores averaged out at nearly a stroke and a half under par during the first round.

Nobody took advantage of the scorable conditions more so than Chad Ramey and S.H. Kim who each opened with rounds of 7-under 64 to share the outright lead. The co-leaders led a group of twenty-something players or so who opened up their 2024 Cognizant Classic accounts with scores of 67 or better on Thursday.

While a plethora of players were able to place themselves in good stead heading into the final three rounds at the Cognizant Classic this week, there were plenty of others who struggled out of the gate on Thursday, none more so than last year's runner-up at PGA National, Eric Cole, who opened with a surprising 7-over 78.

Cole will likely need to produce a miraculous second round if he hopes to be around for the weekend, while others including Rickie Fowler, Sungjae Im, and Matt Fitzpatrick may also have some work left to do if they hope to extend their stay in Palm Beach Gardens this week.

Let's take a look at this week's projected Cognizant Classic cut line to get a better idea of what number players might need to reach to be around for the weekend in South Florida.

Cognizant Classic in The Palm Beaches cut rules: How many make the cut at PGA National?

For the second consecutive week, standard PGA Tour cut rules will apply at this week's Cognizant Classic with the top 65 players and ties advancing through to the weekend following the conclusion of the second round.

The cut mark at PGA National hasn't reached even par in each of the last four editions of the event, including last year when the number ended on +1. Meanwhile, the 2022 edition saw a cut mark of +2 while 2021 also landed on +1. In 2020, the number landed on +3.

Let's now take a look at the cut line prediction for this year's Cognizant Classic and examine some of the names who could be in trouble at the current number.

Cognizant Classic cut line prediction: What will the cut be at PGA National?

With the majority of the first round already in the books at this year's Cognizant Classic, Data Golf is projecting a cut line of -2 at around 38%. That mark moving north to 3-under is given around a 35% chance of coming to fruition, while the cut line dropping back to -1 is currently only being given about a 12% probability.

All three projections would produce the lowest cut mark that PGA National has seen in at least the last four years. Currently, a cut line of 2-under par would be bad news for the aforementioned trio of Matt Fitzpatrick (-1), Sungjae Im (E), and Rickie Fowler (E).

Meanwhile, the projected mark would be good news for players including Corey Conners (-2), Justin Rose (-2), Denny McCarthy (-2), and J.T. Poston (-2).

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Of course, there is still time for all of that to change before all is said and done but it does leave the trio of Fitzpatrick, Im, Fowler, and others with work still to be done if they hope to extend their stay at this year's Cognizant Classic.