Noh earned his tour card by finishing tied for third at last year's qualifying tournament, produced three Top 10 finishes during his first year on the circuit and entered the four-tournament playoff stretch in 40th place.
He dropped to 54th place last week after barely surviving the cut at The Barclays, but a win this week would send him all the way to the top of the points list.
The player on top of that list after the Tour Championship wins the FedEx Cup and the $10 million that goes with it.
Woods has had excellent starts to tournaments throughout the year and although he has won three times he has faltered down the stretch in several events. One of those was last week, when he opened with rounds of 68 and 69 before stumbling on the weekend -- eventually dropping him into a tie for 38th place.
"I played really well today," Woods said. "I hit a lot of good shots and on top of that I putted well. It was a nice little combination."
Nick Watney, who won The Barclays to vault to the top of the points list, shot a 1-over 72 that left him in a tie for 74th.
Noh, 21, birdied four straight holes beginning at the par-4 fourth and then birdied four of the last six. This is the first time in his career he has had the lead at the end of a round on the PGA Tour.
Only the top 100 on the points list were eligible to compete this week. That number will be cut to 70 for next week's BMW Championship and only the leading 30 will tee off at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
UPI horse racing weekend preview
Bo Jackson: I can't help Jameis Winston anymore