World number one Luke Donald carded the joint best round of the day with a 64 to trail by three shots after the third round of the WGC Invitational in Ohio.
Donald is in a share of sixth, while overnight leader Adam Scott posted a 66 to reach 12 under and take a one-stroke lead over Ryo Ishikawa and Jason Day.
Rory McIlroy is five back after a 67, and world number two Lee Westwood trails by eight following a 68.
Tiger Woods shot a 72 to finish in a share of 38th place at one over.
Resuming on one under in a share of 36th, Woods was in the rare position of being out at 0700 local time in the first group, as the 76-man field was cut in half and sent out in threes from two tees to avoid the threat of thunderstorms later in the day.
Playing partner Ian Poulter went left off the tee, needed two more shots to find the fairway, went long with his fourth and took three more from 15 feet to record a triple bogey seven.
Poulter suffered a double bogey at the third and another triple bogey at the 14th in a disastrous round of 80 that left him 22 shots behind Scott at 10 over.
Woods hit a fine approach to six feet at the 15th to collect his second birdie but dropped a third shot of the day at the par-five 16th after sending his pitch into the bunker.
Remarkably Bubba Watson's tee shot travelled over 400 yards at that 667-yard hole, and he took an iron for his second from 247 yards.
McIlroy, after birdies at the two previous holes, missed a five foot birdie chance at the last but finished with a 67, while Westwood dropped only one shot in his 68.
Donald sank a six-foot putt at the 17th for his seventh birdie of the day but took three from the edge of the green at the last.
"I finally made a few putts and felt very comfortable," the 33-year-old said. "Less thoughts seemed to work today. I hit a lot of fairways and greens and gave myself a lot of opportunities."
Rookie Keegan Bradley, who qualified courtesy of his holed a tricky curling putt from seven feet at the sixth for his third birdie of the day and was two clear at 11 under midway through the round.
The world number 115 had gone 43 consecutive holes without a dropped shot before his approach to the 13th went just through the green into thick rough.
Scotsman Martin Laird finished 10 under and said: "If I keep hitting the ball as well as I did today and make a few putts I feel I can make a charge."
Scott, the first round leader and one of four co-leaders after day two, is the man to catch, however.
The 31-year-old Australian played a sublime pitch from 100 yards at the long 16th to within a foot of the flag for his third birdie in succession and collected six in total.
In other notable shots of the day, Jim Furyk had a hole-in-one at the fifth and joint overnight leader Rickie Fowler holed his second shot from the 11th fairway, the 22-year-old finishing only three adrift.