JERSEY CITY, N.J. - Paul Goydos figured Liberty National at least would look good on television, with the Statue of Liberty and so many other New York landmarks serving as a spectacular backdrop at The Barclays.
Inside the ropes is starting to look pretty good to him, too.
Goydos put together three straight birdies early in the third round Saturday to build a lead that stood up until Steve Marino ran off three straight late on the cloudy afternoon to catch him for the lead. Both shot 3-under 68 and were at 9-under 204.
As for those beauty shots?
"I haven't been watching," Goydos said. "Thankfully, I've been playing well and I've been on TV."
That might not make him the star attraction Sunday.
Goydos has only two victories in his 17 years on the PGA Tour. Marino made his debut as a PGA Tour rookie in 2007 at the last tournament Goydos won (Sony Open) and is still looking for his first victory.
The focus shifted behind them on a day of light rain that didn't last long. Suddenly lurking is Tiger Woods, who suggested the players used "ladies' tees" on Saturday even though he remained confounded by the putting surfaces. Woods was capable of making enough putts for a 67 that put him within five shots of the leaders.
Asked if he would be looking over his shoulder, the droll Goydos kept it all in perspective, as always.
"First of all, he's going to be in front of me, not behind me," he said. "So I'll be looking straight ahead."
The opening event of the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup has several possibilities:
Of the top six players on the leaderboard, only Steve Stricker, who is three shots behind, has won this year. Stricker won the inaugural playoff event two years ago at The Barclays. He kept bogeys off his card, yet only made birdies on the par 5s for his 68.
Marino had two chances to win this year, losing a playoff at the Colonial and sharing the 36-hole lead with Tom Watson at the British Open. He might find out how that experience will help him at Liberty National.
"I felt like I was ready to win back then, too," Marino said. "It just didn't turn out that way. I just feel like I'm playing real well right now, and I'm going to do the best I can. I think if I play well, I'll have a good chance to win the golf tournament."
Two shots out of the lead were Fredrik Jacobson (72), the Swede with moving parts in his swing, who is winless in his six years on the PGA Tour; and 24-year-old Webb Simpson, who overcame a triple bogey to shoot 72 and give himself a chance to become the first rookie to win on tour this year.