Considering the late drama on Sunday, the winner this time around will have to do something special on the 18th hole.
After Day finished with a par at 18 to shoot 2-under-par 70 and post the clubhouse lead at 10 under overall, Noren -- a 35-year-old with nine wins on the European Tour but none in the U.S. -- had the last, best chance to win in regulation.
Noren went for the green in two with a 3-wood, but flew it, got a crazy bounce, and the ball jumped into an exit tunnel under the grandstands.
"Almost hit me," said Century Club President Steve Finder, watching the play and anticipating handing the trophy to somebody.
The ball kicked off an equipment box, made a left turn and came to rest next to a temporary walkway.
The break for Noren is that he could take a drop in front of the grandstand with no penalty, and he made an excellent pitch to give himself two putts for par and a round of 73 that tied him with Day.
With Santa Ana winds wreaking havoc on the simplest of iron shots, neither Day nor Noren made a birdie on the back nine in regulation.
Ryan Palmer hadn't either until he reached 18. Then the 41-year-old, with three career tour wins, stuffed a wedge shot to 18 inches to make birdie, score 72 and get into the playoff.
Palmer was quickly ousted on the first go-around at 18 in the playoff, only able to make par. It was Noren who made a spectacular play, hitting his third shot to 2 feet for a certain birdie.
Pressure on Day. He responded with a shot to 10 1/2 feet, and coolly made the putt to stay alive.