Tiger Woods, making his first appearance since undergoing his knee surgery in August this year, took a three-shot lead and moved closer to a record-equalling win, at the rain-hit inaugural Zozo Championship on Sunday.

Woods, who carded 66 to take him 18 under par, is now three-ahead of Hideki Matsuyama, who holds a three-shot lead over rivals Gary Woodland and Im Sung-jae.

The American is targetting his 82nd PGA Tour title and the win will help him equal Sam Snead’s record.

Woods, the 15-time majors champion, did not enjoy a bright start but managed to pull back the things, hitting six birdies.

The inclement weather meant that the play had to be suspended due to bad light. The players then had to commence the fourth rounds immediately after they had finished the third round on Sunday.

While Rory McIlroy managed 63 after a below-par opening of 72, he managed 63 and completed the top five. The duo of Shane Lowry and Justin Thomas, meanwhile, carded 5 before the close of play.

“I played great this morning. “I’ve got a 12-footer for birdie on 17 and then I’ll try to make birdie or eagle at the last and finish as high up as possible,” said McIlroy.

“I’m happy for the crowds, I’m happy for the people of Japan that they got to see us play a lot today,” added McIlroy.

“Obviously Tiger leading, Hideki chasing him down, you couldn’t have written it any better for the first PGA Tour event in Japan. It’s been a great tournament so far and I’m sure it will be an awesome finish tomorrow,” concluded McIlroy.