PARAMUS, N.J. -- Tiger Woods three-putted the 18th green Friday afternoon, bogeyed two of his final four holes at Ridgewood Country Club and had to sweat out making the 36-hole cut at the Northern Trust.
Woods shot even-par 70 despite hitting 16 of 18 greens in regulation and generally looking in control for most of the day.
But a shaky day on the greens -- he needed 35 putts -- led to a frustrating round and an early tee time on Saturday. He is 10 strokes back of three-time major winner Brooks Koepka and Jamie Lovemark in a tie for 67th place.
Phil Mickelson, who birdied five of his first six holes and shot 68, is tied for 10th, four strokes back.
"The name of the game is you've got to make putts and you've got to roll it,'' Woods said after making the cut on the number at 142, even par. "No matter how good your drive is, you've still got to roll them and still got to make putts, and I didn't putt very well today. I had a hard time seeing my lines, and consequently I didn't make anything.''
It was in stark contrast to Woods' last tournament at the PGA Championship, where he finished second despite having trouble hitting fairways. Woods hit just five in his final round at Bellerive but shot 64 to post his best major championship finish in nine years.
But in the first FedEx Cup playoff event, Woods has made only four birdies. He has hit nine of 14 fairways through two days, and on Friday he hit his first 14 greens in regulation. That would typically lead to better results than just two birdies to that point.
A birdie putt at the 13th got Woods to 2 under and he was in position to get on a roll when he knocked his approach at the 14th to 10 feet. But he never seemed comfortable over the putt, missed it and was shaky the rest of the way.
"It was a really tough putt for such a short one,'' he said. "Everything on that green says it has to go toward the front, but it really doesn't on that putt and I didn't trust it.''
Woods then missed the 15th green with a 9-iron, leading to his first bogey of the day. After a nice drive at the 18th, he hit his approach to 30 feet, but left it 5 feet short and then missed the par putt.
In many ways, what Mickelson did Friday encapsulates his career: so much good and then the agonizingly bad.
Mickelson birdied his first four holes, five of his first six and and six of his first 11 but settled for a 3-under-par 68 after bogeys at his final two holes.
"I look at the good,'' said Mickelson, who has had a single top-10 finish since his March victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship. "I look at it as though I know I'm playing well and it's going to get better each day, and even though I didn't finish the round the way I wanted to, it was a good day to put me in contention heading into the weekend, which is what I wanted, and I'm going to build on that these next two rounds, because the game is coming back and it's getting sharper.''
The Northern Trust is the first of four FedEx Cup playoff events. Both Woods and Mickelson are assured of making it to the third one, which includes the top 70 players in the standings. Mickelson, who began the week 11th in the standings, is in excellent position to make the 30-player Tour Championship.
Woods began in 20th position and by making the cut has a chance to at least hold or improve upon his spot.