McIlroy five off the pace

Jason Day and Jim Furyk are tied for the lead heading into the final day of The Barclays while an inconsistent third-round performance left world number one Rory McIlroy five strokes off the pace.

Rory McIlroy lies five strokes behind in New Jersey (AP)
Rory McIlroy lies five strokes behind in New Jersey (AP)

Australian Day followed up his stunning Friday score of 64 with a three-under-par 68 at Ridgewood CC and, coupled with Furyk's blemish-free 69, the pair reached the clubhouse on nine under for the tournament.

Following his Open Championship, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and US PGA Championship victories, McIlroy had fixed a poor opening round with a sparkling 65 on Friday but could only sign for a one-under 70 on Saturday.

The Northern Irishman mixed three birdies with two bogeys yet sits among illustrious company including overnight leader and defending champion Adam Scott, Bubba Watson and Graeme McDowell in a share of 23rd place heading into the deciding round in Paramus, New Jersey.

Much closer to Day and Furyk is American Hunter Mahan on eight under, while Morgan Hoffman shot 66 to climb from the middle of the leaderboard to share fifth place with the likes of Matt Kuchar and Kevin Na.

Last to finish, Cameron Tringale had looked set to end the day on eight under but bogeyed the 18th to sign for a one-over 72.

Day, a two-time winner on the PGA Tour, could have struck out on his own on Saturday had he not dropped two shots on the par-five 13th hole.

Elsewhere on the course, he took four shots to get down from a bunker on the par-fifth 17th and ultimately mixed seven birdies with two bogeys.

Pennsylvania-born Furyk shot two birdies and otherwise kept his nose clean to merit a share of the lead.

Also keeping eyes on the prize are Englishmen Justin Rose and Paul Casey, four shots off the pace on five under.