Gary Woodland and Matt Kuchar exchanged birdies and bad breaks and wound up tied for the lead at The Barclays in Jersey City, N.J.
Kuchar, who completed five holes of his second round Saturday morning for a 6-under 65 and a two-shot lead, was tied with Woodland on the reachable par-4 16th when his putt ran into a sprinkler and stopped, costing him a reasonable chance at birdie. He wound up with a 70 in the third round.
Woodland had a one-shot lead until his tee shot on the 17th plugged in the far end of the fairway bunker, effectively costing him a full shot. He blasted out sideways, made bogey and had to settle for a 68.
They were at 12-under 201, one shot ahead of Kevin Chappell, who broke the tournament course record with a bogey-free 62.
Chappell's round was so strong that it was 10 shots better than the average score at Liberty National, where the wind was blowing about 10 mph.
"In the wind, if you would have told me someone was going to shoot 62 today, I would probably have laughed at you," Chappell said.
Tiger Woods spent another round grabbing his lower back and bending over gingerly to put his ball on the tee and retrieve it from the cup. He was on the fringe of contention for much of the blustery afternoon until two solid shots on the par-5 13th for a birdie, driving the 16th green for a two-putt birdie and closing with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 18th for a 69 that left him very much in the picture at 8-under 205.
"It starts off great every day, and then it progressively deteriorates as the day goes on," Woods said of his lower back, which he hurt from what he said was a soft bed in his hotel room. "Hopefully, tomorrow it will be one of those days again. Fight through it and see if I can win a tournament."
David Lynn of England also had a 69 and was tied with Woods, four behind. Rory McIlroy (71) was six shots back.
LPGA Tour: Solheim Cup star Caroline Hedwall shot a 6-under 64 to take a one-stroke lead over European teammate Suzann Pettersen and defending champion Lydia Ko in the Canadian Women's Open in Edmonton, Alberta.
Hedwall, winless on the LPGA Tour, was a record 5-0 last week in Colorado in Europe's blowout win over the United States. The 24-year-old Swede was 10-under 200 at Royal Mayfair.
Pettersen shot a 65. She won the 2009 tournament.
The 16-year-old Ko had a 67. Last year in British Columbia, the New Zealand amateur became the youngest winner in LPGA Tour history at 15 years, 4 months.
Champions Tour: John Riegger shot an 8-under 64 to open a three-stroke lead after the second round of the Boeing Classic in Snoqualmie, Wash.
The 50-year-old Riegger, making his fifth career start on the 50-and-over tour, had an eagle for the second straight day and added seven birdies and a bogey to finish at 11 under at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge.