Tiger Woods hit 16 greens on Friday but struggled with the flatstick, and as a result he hovered around the cutline for the majority of the day. 

By Daniel Rapaport
August 24, 2018

Two weeks after Tiger Woods couldn't hit a fairway but excelled with his irons and putter at the PGA Championship, Friday at the Northern Trust told a different story entirely. 

Woods hit nine of 14 fairways and 16 of Ridgewood Country Club's 18 greens, but he lacked precision with his approaches and needed 35 putts en route to a second straight round of even-par 71. Woods will play the weekend, but just barely after he struggled on the closing holes—he bogeyed the par-3 15th by missing a five-footer and three-putted the 18th, including a failed par effort from four feet, for a bogey. 

It is the first time since the third round of the 2005 U.S. Open that Woods hit 16 greens and failed to break par, and he dropped more than two strokes putting to the rest of the field on Friday. 

"I had a hard time seeing my lines, and consequently I did not make many putts," Woods told reporters after the round.

He'll start Saturday a full 10 shots back of the lead, which is shared by Jamie Lovemark and red-hot Brooks Koepka.

Woods made 23 birdies for the week at Bellerive, where he finished second for his best finish in a major in nine years, but has just four through two rounds at the first FedEx Cup playoff event. His ball striking—particularly with the driver, which gave him fits on Sunday at the PGA—has looked solid over the first two days in New Jersey, but he has not holed a putter longer than 11 feet all week. 

Unsurprisingly, he headed to the practice green immediately after his round.

The 14-time major champion currently sits 20th in the FedEx Cup standings, and he's a lock to make it to next week's Dell Technologies Championship in Boston (where the top 100 in points will qualify) whether he makes the cut or not. Woods is also a virtual lock to be one of Jim Furyk's captain's selections for the Ryder Cup, so a missed cut would not have been tremendously consequential for his immediate future. He's committed to play in Boston as well as the BMW Championship the following week. 

Despite the struggles on Friday, Woods keeps his missed count cut for the season at just two in 15 starts. His chances of picking up his first win since 2013 are all but gone this week, but he will have a chance to move up the leaderboard this weekend and gain some all-important FedEx Cup points. Only the top 30 in the points standings after the BMW will qualify for the Tour Championship, and the winner of the FedEx Cup will take home $10 million. 

Woods is the only two-time winner of the FedEx Cup, having won the season-long points race in 2007 and 2009.  

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