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Tiger Woods stopped by lightning

FIRST round play at The Barclays was delayed for a second time just as Tiger Woods was making a charge up the leaderboard at Liberty National.

World No 1 Woods, who topped the points list entering this first event of the four-tournament FedEx Cup play-offs, had posted three birdies in a row to reach three-under through seven holes before the horn sounded due to lightning in the area.

The suspension came one hour and 42 minutes after an earlier lightning threat caused a delay of over two and a half hours.

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's play.

Woods was among eight players on 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 US Open champion Justin Rose, defending Barclays champion Nick Watney and fellow Americans Jim Furyk and Matt Kuchar, and Henrik Stenson of Sweden. PGA champion Jason Dufner is one-over through nine.

Open champion Phil Mickelson of the US and Masters winner Adam Scott of Australia were among the players scheduled to tee off in the afternoon.

Rory McIlroy – one under after 11 holes – says he is playing without pressure after what has been a tough year.

McIlroy is 49th in the play-off standings coming into The Barclays.

The Ulsterman finished tied for 25th at The Masters and a 14-over par at the US Open meant he was outside the top 40. A disastrous first two rounds at the Open saw McIlroy miss the cut.

Given his poor form, McIlory knows he is going into the FedEx Cup play-offs with no pressure, a factor that could make him a contender.

"I'm in that position where I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain," he said.

"That's the beauty of it (the FedEx Cup). You look at basketball, baseball, football – teams squeeze in and make a great play-off run and win.

"I feel like my game is in good shape. I'm coming off a nice weekend at the PGA Championship.

"I feel like I'm in a good place. I'm just playing golf and focusing on my targets. I've still got events this year – and four big ones, the play-offs. And I'm really looking forward to the last four months."

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