JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (Reuters) - Tiger Woods could not pick up where he left off and settled for a par that ended his birdie surge after the weather-hit Barclays tournament resumed on Thursday after a nearly four-hour delay.
Woods had birdied three in a row to stand three under par through seven holes, one shot off the early pace, when the horn sounded to halt play for the second time during the opening round at Liberty National due to lightning and heavy rain.
When play resumed, the world number one faced a 22-foot putt for birdie, but he left the ball inches short of the cup.
Earlier, players had to sit out a delay of more than two-and-a-half hours shortly after the opening tee shots at the first of four events that comprise the FedExCup playoffs.
The second suspension came one hour 42 minutes after players returned to the course that sits hard by the New York harbor with views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline as a spectacular backdrop.
Woods, a five-time winner on the PGA Tour this season, stood one stroke behind Australian Jason Day and Americans Kevin Stadler and Matt Every midway through the morning flight.
Day had completed nine holes, while Stadler and Every had played seven before the skies darkened ominously once again.
Every and Day both used eagles to soar to the top of the leaderboard, while Stadler enjoyed a stretch of four birdies in five holes from the second to join them on four under par.
Woods was among eight players at three under, including Americans Ryan Palmer, Charles Howell III and Jeff Maggert and Colombian Camilo Villegas.
A dozen players were bunched at two under par, including U.S. Open winner Justin Rose of England, defending Barclays champion Nick Watney and fellow Americans Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar, and Henrik Stenson of Sweden.
PGA champion Jason Dufner was one over par through nine.
Sixty players were on the course when the horn sounded for the second time on Thursday, while the entire afternoon wave waited and wondered when they would get the chance to play.
British Open champion Phil Mickelson and Masters winner Adam Scott of Australia were among those with later tee-off times in the 123-man field.
Woods began quietly before making a charge.
After starting his round at the 10th and opening with four pars, Woods knocked it two feet from the pin at the par-three 14th, sank a six-footer at 15 and a five-foot putt at the 16th for birdies.
England’s Lee Westwood was not so successful, standing last among the early starters after double-bogeys at the third and fifth and a bogey at the eighth put him five over par through eight holes.
Reporting by Larry Fine; Editing by Mark Lamport-Stokes