Zach Johnson's putter warmed up and put him in a three-way tie for the lead among early starters Friday at The Barclays.
Adam Scott and Charl Schwartzel never got anything going and might be done for the PGA Tour season.
Johnson made five birdies and some key par saves at Plainfield Country Club for a 5-under 65. He was tied for the lead at 6-under 134 with Henrik Stenson (66) and Tony Finau (69).
Among the afternoon starters was Jordan Spieth, in danger of missing the cut and losing his No. 1 world ranking after two weeks.
Scott shot a 73 and was likely to miss the cut. He was projected to fall out of the top 100 who advance to the next event in the FedEx Cup playoffs.