On a strange Saturday (local time) at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Brendon de Jonge moved to the top of the leaderboard in front of just a handful of onlookers.
Heavy overnight winds caused serious damage - including fallen trees - forcing tournament officials to keep spectators away from the action throughout the crucial third round.
De Jonge ignored the lack of atmosphere to post his second consecutive two-under 69 and move to seven under the card overall. The Zimbabwean made three birdies and a single bogey at the par-four 14th hole.
The event appears destined for a tight finish, with former world number one Tiger Woods lurking just one shot behind the leader following a four-under 67.
It has been a long time since Woods played a competitive round in front of so few people, but a focused performance has the 36-year-old primed to strike in the fourth round.
Bo Van Pelt and Seung-Yul Noh sit alongside Woods at six under after shooting rounds of 67 and 69 respectively.
Overnight leader Hunter Mahan fell back to equal fifth at five under with his disappointing 73.
The best-placed Australians are Jason Day (70) and Marc Leishman (71), in a share of 12th position at two under the card.