Bethpage Black hasn't hosted the U.S. Open since 2009, but USGA-style conditions have broken out at The Barclays.
And while Rickie Fowler has never hoisted a major trophy, he's certainly playing the treacherous 7,468-yard Black Course like an Open champ.
"It's definitely a true test of golf out here," Fowler said after shooting a third-round 3-under-par 68 to take a one-stroke lead over Patrick Reed at 9-under 204 on Saturday at the FedEx Cup Playoffs kickoff event.
"It is a major venue and it's one of the biggest venues we play at. You can't fake it around here. You're going to have to pull off some magic here and there to save some pars like I've been able to."
Fowler, No. 8 in the World Golf Rankings, utilized a little of that magic on the No. 18 green, sinking a five-foot birdie putt to give him sole possession of the lead.
The 27-year-old native of Murrieta, Calif., began the day tied for second and had three birdies on his bogey-free round and has only one bogey in 54 holes.
"To have a few putts go in, to be able to be getting up-and-down for par and saving those shots to keep the momentum going, it makes all the difference," Fowler said.
Reed, the world No. 14, played an up-and-down front nine with three birdies opposite three bogeys, but parred his final nine holes to finish at 70 and stay within striking distance of Fowler.
"I just didn't hit the ball very well today," Reed said. "My tee shots were off, hanging right. Felt like I got absolutely nothing out of my round."
"I just need to put one good round together tomorrow and chase Rickie down."
Fowler has three career PGA Tour victories, all of which have come after trailing through 36 holes.
His best finish this season was a solo second at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February, when he lost to Hideki Matsuyama of Japan in a playoff.
Fowler's most recent victory came at last year's Deutsche Bank Championship, the next event on the Playoffs schedule, when he claimed a one-stroke victory over world No. 4 Henrik Stenson of Sweden.
Adam Scott of Australia posted a 65 that was the low score of the tournament and is two shots back in solo third, while Martin Laird of Scotland, the 18-hole co-leader alongside Reed, had a 69 and is another stroke back on a tie for fourth with Emiliano Grillo of Argentina, who totaled 71.
World No. 2 Dustin Johnson, this year's U.S. Open champion, carded a 67 and headlines a six-way tie for 10th, five shots down.
Scott, the world No. 7, posted an eagle on the first hole, six birdies and two bogeys.
He blasted his opening drive 302 yards just off the fairway and holed out from 95 yards away. Scott won The Barclays in 2013 by a stroke at Liberty National in nearby Jersey City, N.J.
"I got off to a hot start (today)," Scott said. "You've got to take advantage of that around a tough course like this."
Like Reed, Day had a tough time keeping his drives on the fairway -- or on the course, for that matter.
"If I can find my golf ball, I might have a good chance at winning the tournament," Day said. "Today I just had no clue where it was going. Was missing both left and right."
Should Day come up short in pursuit of back-to-back Barclays wins, it's a loss he'll be able to stomach.
"I'm in great position going into the next three events after this," said Day, a three-time winner on the PGA Tour this season. "Obviously coming in this week at No. 1 on the FedEx Cup is good position."
World No. 3 Jordan Spieth (72) is six strokes back and tied for 16th, world No. 5 Rory McIlroy (71) of Northern Ireland is a shot back of Spieth and tied for 22nd. Phil Mickelson (70) and Olympic champion Justin Rose (70) of England are tied for 34th, nine behind.
Four-time Barclays winner Vijay Singh of Fiji (74) slipped into a tie for 55th. The former world No. 1 had a double bogey on No. 9 and ended with four consecutive bogeys.
NOTES: Keegan Bradley was assessed a one-stroke penalty after his ball moved before his second shot at No. 4. The world No. 109 and nearby St. John's University alum bogeyed the hole and is on the FedEx Cup Playoffs bubble with a projected ranking of 100th. The top 100 in the standings advance to next weekend's Deutsche Bank Championship. ... Dustin Johnson has been playing with a cracked driver. "It's been like that for a while," the world No. 2 and U.S. Open champion said. "Any swing now, it's going to go." Johnson has used the driver since the 2015 BMW Championship and said the crack probably occurred during last month's PGA Championship. ... Adam Scott of Australia discussed the growth of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, now in its 10th season. "New things take a while to catch on," the world No. 7 said. "Now you're seeing guys make decisions to prioritize these events."