Graeme McDowell is likely to need an impressive final round to secure his Ryder Cup place with a week to spare after a third round 71 at The Barclays.
The Northern Irishman, who holed the winning putt in the 2010 contest against America, fired a level par effort to remain four under at Ridgewood Country Club, but slipped out of the top 20.
With the qualification race for Gleneagles ending next week, McDowell currently holds the final automatic spot via the world list, but could be overtaken by Stephen Gallacher if the Scot finishes strongly in the Czech Republic on Sunday.
Jason Day and Jim Furyk are tied for the lead heading into the final day, while an inconsistent third-round performance left World Number One Rory McIlroy five strokes off the pace.
Australian Day followed up his stunning Friday score of 64 with a three under par 68 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 McDowell in a share of 23rd place heading into the deciding round in Paramus, New Jersey.
Also keeping eyes on the prize are Englishmen Justin Rose and Paul Casey, four shots off the pace on five under.