Jason Day rebounded from a double-bogey at the 13th with three birdies in the last four holes to grab a share of the lead after the third round of The Barclays.
The Australian signed off with a 10-foot birdie putt at the last to card a three-under 68 at Ridgewood Country Club, finishing level with American Jim Furyk (69) at nine-under 204 in the opener of the PGA Tour's four-event FedExCup playoffs.
Hunter Mahan (68) was alone in third at eight under, a stroke in front of seven players who included fellow Americans Matt Kuchar (68) and Cameron Tringale (72), the latter having been tied for the second-round lead with Australian Adam Scott.
Top-ranked Rory McIlroy, on a sizzling three-tournament winning streak that included major triumphs at the British Open and PGA Championship, was level with Scott at four under after carding a 70.
World number two Scott endured a frustrating day on the challenging A.W. Tillinghast layout where danger was ever present because of lush rough and slick greens, struggling to a 75 to slide five shots of the pace.