Both were at 14-under after the third round; Zalatoris shot a 7-under 65, while Day ended the round at 5-under 67.
“I think today was the best driving day I’ve had, maybe ever,” said Zalatoris, who resides in Dallas.
Day, an Australian and two-time Farmers Open winner – most recently in 2018 – said his focus is on “just trying to keep the momentum going.”
“It’s nice to be able to know that I’ve done it on the golf course twice … but tomorrow’s a new day and you don’t know what’s going to come so I just gotta kinda get a good rest tonight, get into it tomorrow and just be patient,” he added.
Jon Rahm, the world’s top-ranked men’s golfer, fell into a tie for third with Aaron Rai, one stroke behind. Rahm posted an even-par 72 for the day, and Rai ended with a 4-under 68.
Adam Schenk and Justin Thomas, co-leaders with Rahm after Thursday, slipped Friday. Thomas sat in a three-way tie for fifth after a round in which he shot 1-over 73. Schenk’s day was worse, as his 3-over 75 dropped him to a six-way tie for 13th.
Schenk had a remarkable day Thursday, shooting a career-low 10-under 62 on the North Course, with eight consecutive birdies from the fourth through 11th holes. He had noted the proliferation of “low scores on the North Course,” and said he knew “I had to try to keep the pedal down and not get satisfied with how many birdies I made.”
First-round leader Billy Horschel recovered a bit Friday, rising from a five-way tie for 12th place to a tie for eighth, three shots off the lead. He posted a 3-under 69.
Of the locals in the tournament, Pat Perez, a former Torrey Pines High School prep, was among eight golfers tied for 19th. They trail the leaders by five strokes.
Xander Schauffele, a San Diego State graduate who won the 2020 Olympic gold medal, was seven shots back in a five-way tie for 33rd. J.J. Spaun, another SDSU grad, was just behind at eight shots back.
Patrick Reed, the 2021 Farmers Open champ, was, like Spaun, eight shots back at the end of play Friday.
The final round will be played on the South Course. The winner of the $8.4 million tournament will receive $1.5 million.
– Staff and wire reports