Moore eliminated the mistakes that held him back the previous day, making only one bogey in building a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Charlie Wi.
Moore was No. 58 in the FedEx Cup standings, and needed one of his best weeks just to crack the top 30 and advance to the Tour Championship in two weeks at East Lake in Atlanta. A victory not only would send him to the FedEx Cup finale, but give him a clear shot at the $10 million bonus.
Even with 18 holes to go, that's a long way off.
Moore is at 8-under 205, and a dozen players are within four shots of his lead, including Ernie Els, Ian Poulter and Paul Casey.
That group does not include Tiger Woods. He finally broke par with 68, but he needed much more. Woods is in a tie for 22nd at even-par 213, seven shots behind where he needs to finish to advance to the FedEx Cup finale. Otherwise, it will be his last PGA Tour round of the year in America.
About his only drama today is playing alongside Phil Mickelson, who shot 70. It will be the first time they have played together this year, and the first time in the same group since Mickelson beat him in the HSBC Champions at Shanghai last November.
Moore is not bothered with that. He's not concerned with the FedEx Cup, either.
"Just like any golf tournament, I came here to win," Moore said. "That's what I'm here for. I'm not here to try and qualify for the Tour Championship. All that other stuff takes care of itself. It you play good, you get in those things. I'm going to just focus on trying to stay patient, exactly how I have the last few days. Play hard and see what happens."
Johnson will be in the final group for the second time during the FedEx Cup playoffs, having started Sunday at The Barclays three shots behind Martin Laird. That didn't look likely when he struggled with his putter early in the round to fall five shots behind, but he rallied for 68.
"Any time you get on a run like that, especially on this course, it changes your momentum," Johnson said.
Kuchar hasn't been nearly as sharp as he was in the opening round when he shot 64, but he's starting to feel better and is hopeful of hitting his stride today. He wound up with 70 and was just one shot behind. He was five back going into the last round at The Barclays, which he won.
"If I can get going and have a day like today and make a few putts, I'll find myself up there with a chance to win tomorrow," he said.
He at least was back to even par for the tournament, a year after he won at 19-under par. As for his chances of getting to Atlanta?
"I just play," Woods said. "That's all I can do. I'm trying to win this golf tournament, and now I'm eight back."