In order to penalize poolies that do not have enough golfers make the cut, OfficePools needs to invoke a Cut Penalty.
While some sites use the worst golfer's score in the entire tournament - OfficePools uses the worst golfer's score from only the golfer's selected in your pool. This way, the last minute alternate who happens to be the local club amateur doesn't submarine your pool by shooting an 84 in the final round.
The Cut Penalty also has to be tied to the worst score in some shape or form so that a poolie cannot benefit by having a golfer(s) miss the cut. It would be unfair if a poolie with all of their golfers to make the cut actually does worse than a poolie that had their score filled by using Cut Penalty.
Please keep in mind that Cut Penalty is most effective when combined with the Drop Worst rule (click here to learn more about Drop Worst). The reason for this is because chances are that in your standard 8-10 golfer pool, everyone will have 1-2 golfers miss the cut. So you really only want the Cut Penalty to come into effect for those that have more than 2 golfers miss the cut. Everyone else deserves that buffer of dropping their worst 1-2 golfers scores.
All missing rounds use Cut Penalty to fill in a score. So if your golfer Withdraws after Round 1, Cut Penalty will fill in their Rounds 2, 3, and 4 scores.
THIS IS HOW OUR CUT PENALTY WORKS:
In this pool example, each team has 8 golfers. Only the top 7 scores count towards the team total (Drop Worst 1). Because this team has a golfer that missed the cut that is contributing to the team score, the Cut Penalty rule is invoked. Mickelson's tournament score of +26 is achieved by using his Round 1 score of Even, Round 2 score of +7, and the worst Round 3 score from within the entire pool of +13, and the worst Round 4 score from within the entire pool of +6.
CUT PENALTY OFFSET (OPTIONAL):
Because some pool Admins either want to increase or decrease the severity of the default Cut Penalty, there is an option to do that in the Scoring Settings of your pool. The number you choose is in relation to the default Cut Penalty, it is not the number of strokes that are applied.
So if you set the Cut Penalty Offset to +2, you are increasing the severity of the Cut Penalty by 2 strokes. Which means that if the worst golfer in your pool shoots +6 in round 3, all golfers that miss the cut and don't play round 3 will have a score of +8 applied to their round 3 score.
Conversely, if the Admin sets the Cut Penalty Offset to -2, they are decreasing the severity of the Cut Penalty by 2 strokes. Which means that if the worst golfer in your pool shoots +6 in round 3, all golfers that miss the cut and don't play the 3rd round will have a score of +4 applied to their round 3 score.
OfficePools recommends that Admins leave the Cut Penalty Offset at the default setting of 0.