Phil Mickelson struggled to keep his hands dry in the wet weather and finished bogey-bogey on the South for a 71 to make the cut on the number, though his work isn't over. There were 87 players who made the cut at 1-under 143, meaning there will be another cut to top 70 and ties Saturday.
Mike Weir, meanwhile, made the cut for the first time since July 2011 despite a sloppy finish for a 75 on the South. He was tied for 41st at 3-under 141.
Woods is coming off a missed cut in Abu Dhabi last week to start his year.
"I've had beautiful practice sessions at home," he said. "If I can do it there, I can do it out here. Even though last week I played only two days, I felt like I hit the ball well enough to shoot a better score than I did. I had a couple of days to work on it, and I came out here and felt pretty good about it."
The final two rounds move to the South Course, which played about 1½ shots harder Friday in the rain. The greens are more receptive, sure, but the course figures to play at full length in wet conditions and at sea level.
"It was amazing how different it played from Wednesday," Walker said. "I played the pro-am here on Wednesday on the South, and you could hardly stop a ball. And today, it didn't matter if you hit a 3-iron in there, it would just stop immediately. You could spin wedges. So it was a lot different, and it played a lot longer too."
Not only have the seven players behind Woods not won on tour, four of them had to get cards this year through either Q-school or the Web.com Tour.
But with 36 holes left, more than just those seven are still in the mix. Nick Watney played the first two rounds with Woods was only four shots behind, along with Ross Fisher of England. Charles Howell III, who has tied for third and lost in a playoff in his two starts this year, had a 72 on the South and was five shots behind.
Horschel wades into a big world Saturday, but he believes he has the experience from when he played the Walker Cup in 2007 at Royal County Down.
There was a guy I competed against three times called Rory McIlroy," Horschel said. "So there may have been 10, 12,000 people following us, and only a couple thousand following the rest of the groups. So I've dealt with crowds. I guess it's a little bit easier playing with Tiger because I guess the group ahead, they move a lot or something. Just hearing what media says. It's going to be exciting."
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