Harrison Frazar seized the clubhouse lead at The Barclays on Thursday with a seven-under 64 on a soggy course that could get worse with the threat of an approaching hurricane.
The American got his opening round off to a rousing start but the same couldn't be said for many others in the field of 125 as first round play was halted on Thursday with 51 players still on the course.
Rain stopped play for three hours and then officials called everyone off the course because of darkness.
The first round will continue on Friday morning, which means tee times for the second round will be pushed back by a half hour, weather permitting.
"I wanted to get done today," Frazar said. "With the way the weather is coming, I didn't want to have to sit around and play too much tomorrow or too much Saturday. It's going to be a long week by the time this thing is over."
Weather forecasters are predicting Hurricane Irene or remnants of it could hit the US east coast late Saturday and early Sunday.
"There are a lot of decisions to be made," said Slugger White, the tour's vice president of competition.
Fijian-Indian Vijay Singh added to the birdie parade Thursday on the softened Plainfield Country Club course finishing with a 65 in the opening event of the PGA Tour playoffs.
Aussie Adam Scott was in the group at 66 while American Nick Watney - the No. 1 seed as the postseason race begins for the $10 million first place prize - and Jason Day of Australia were among those at 67.
Matt Kuchar, the defending champion at The Barclays, was also at seven under through 16 holes.
Irene could be a nightmare for organizers or it could be like the remnants of Earl at last year's Deutsche Bank Championship, which turned out to be nothing like the doom merchants had predicted.
"If we get five or seven inches of rain here, we are probably dead in the water," White said.
Golfer Charley Hoffman said: "I don't think anybody has any clue. I'm pretty sure 100 percent of us want to play 72 holes out here, and we all know the tournament (next week) doesn't start until Friday."
"So I'm pretty sure the players will commit to go to Tuesday if possible. But if this place gets 10 inches of rain two weeks in a row, I don't know how playable this golf course is going to be."