Anirban Lahiri hung in tenaciously despite having problems with his putting, to make the cut narrowly at the Memorial.
The 28-year-old golfer, who finished tied sixth last week for his best finish in 2016, shot even par 72 with three birdies and three bogeys, including in last three holes, to be two-under 142 and right on the cut line Friday night.
Brendan Steele, whose only PGA TOUR win was in his rookie season five years ago, shot a 5-under 67 on Friday and was tied for the lead with past Memorial champion Matt Kuchar (66).
The cut was at 2-under 142, the lowest since Jack Nicklaus started this tournament in 1976.
Prominent among those missing the cut were Rickie Fowler, Paul Casey, Hideki Matsuyama and Ernie Els. Jordan Spieth looked as though he might be on the wrong side of the cut line when he opened with two bogeys in four holes.
He made six birdies over his last 12 holes for a 68 to at least stay in range.
"It was a very frustrating day. I hit it pretty good but got no results. I made two or three errors which were evidence of inexperience on this golf course and my putter remained unresponsive for the second consecutive day. But having survived the cut, I can hopefully get some momentum on the weekend," Lahiri, ranked 55th in the world, said.
Asked about course conditions and if they were tough for scoring, the Indian said: "Not really. You have to score heavily on the par-5's. I played them quite poorly given I hit two of the four fairways and had irons in. The greens get a little crusty and bumpy by the end of day but still quite conducive to scoring."
Lahiri twice went into water and had to take penalty and did not take advantage of the par-fives. Leader Steele took the last two weeks off to attend a wedding, go fishing with his father and venture over to San Diego to play a few games with Mickelson at The Bridges at Rancho Santa Fe.
Steele and Kuchar were at 12-under 132, the same score that led a year ago. Rory McIlroy was mildly disappointed with his 66, but only because he played the last seven holes in even par.
Jason Day was thrilled with a 71 because he lost his swing and figured it should have been something in the upper 70s. Dustin Johnson, who opened with a 64, never caught the morning leaders.
He had a pair of bogeys on the back nine that slowed him, and he took a double bogey on the par-4 sixth hole, which led to a 71, though he was only three shots behind.