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Breaking down cut line for the 2023 American Express tournament

It’s Saturday at The American Express, and with that comes the pairing of the field. We break down where the cut line stands throughout the day.

Jon Rahm hits his drive shot from the 10th tee of the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West in La Quinta, Calif., Friday, Jan. 20, 2023. Andy Abeyta/The Desert Sun / USA TODAY NETWORK

Update 5:00 p.m. We’re now at -9 with a bit less than a third of the field in the clubhouse. A wild day, and Jon Rahm at -24 with two holes remaining is going to threaten the 72-hold PGA record relative to par (34-under by Cameron Smith at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in 2022).

It won’t be enough for Matthew NeSmith or Luke List, who are both in the house at -8 and will miss the weekend.

Update 2:35 p.m. Well that escalated quickly. Cut line is now at -8 with 68 players or better on that number, including 17 at -8 exactly.

Because of six starting tees across three courses, all 156 players are on the track right now.

Update 1:15 p.m. The cut still stands at -6 in early trading, but we’re up to 79 players on that number, and 60 at -7. That means we’re looking at -7 becoming the number here pretty soon.

There’s 50 or better at -8, and that won’t be out of range either.

The PGA TOUR tees off the third round of the 2023 American Express on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. ET, and Jon Rahm is showing why he entered as the favorite.

The Spaniard is in second place all alone, two shots back of Davis Thompson, as we enter the third and final day of pre-cut action across the Coachella Valley. Both Rahm (+120 odds at DraftKings Sportsbook) and Thompson (+450) will be playing the Nicklaus Tournament course today, with the field divvied up across the Pete Dye Stadium and La Quinta tracks as well.

Because of the three-course setup of the event, finding the cut line might take a bit more than usual. It will come down to who is playing on which course to see who makes it to Sunday’s final round.

How is the cut line determined?

The cut line at 54 holes is the top 65 players plus those tied at the end of that group. While this is a pro-am, only the pros can make it to Sunday, even if an amateur ends up with a gross score low enough to qualify.

What is the projected cut line for the American Express as of now?

Entering today’s play, there are 77 players at -6 or better. But due to the chip-and-putt nature of what’s happening in Palm Springs under flawless conditions this week, expect at least -7 to be the cut line, and perhaps as high as -9.

Who is not projected to make the cut?

Dylan Frittelli is at +3 and will be playing strictly for fun and his amateur partner today. Danny Willett is even, and will need to go super-low to have a chance to cash a check. The same for Cam Davis at -1, who entered this week as a live underdog from many handicappers. But Jimmy Walker and Jhonattan Vegas at -5 are much more live to play themselves into tomorrow.