Spaniard Jon Rahm shot a seven-under 65 to take the clubhouse lead in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.
The 25-year-old world number three holed for an eagle from 111 yards at the second and finished on 12 under.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy, needing a win to return to world number one, is nine under after a fine 67, with Tiger Woods two further back.
Ryan Palmer, two ahead overnight after a 62 on the North course, was 10 under with a handful of holes to complete.
The final two rounds are played at the more challenging South course but round three was delayed by two hours on Saturday because of dense sea fog along the Californian coastline.
Rahm quickly made up for lost time and played the first nine in five under, adding another birdie at the 13th after playing from the bunker to within inches of the cup.
A sparkling tee shot to inside three feet at the 16th gave him a fifth birdie.
McIlroy began the round six shots off the lead but compiled six birdies with some typically spectacular shots, to match his opening day score.
He pitched onto the 607-yard 13th with his second shot, although three putts from there only gave him a par.
However his birdie putt at the 470-yard 15th was a lot easier as his magnificent approach from 155 yards finished a foot from the pin, while two more majestic hits at the closing par five saw him pick up another shot.
Woods, winner of eight titles at Torrey Pines, made a superb start, playing the first nine in four under, which included a chip-in from off the green to par the fourth.
He three-putted to bogey the 11th but then holed from 15 feet to par the last and ensure only one dropped shot in his round of 69.
“It was important because I felt like I was going to get left behind if I’d dropped another shot,” said the world number six, seeking to move ahead of Sam Snead as the PGA Tour’s outright leading title winner.
“It was a positive move today, I got off to a nice start early but I am still going to have to post a low one tomorrow – a lot of guys are ahead of me.”
Article courtesy of BBC Sport