Day in mix for PGA victory at Pebble Beach

Evin Priest
Jason Day is Australia's best chance of victory at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am in California

Jason Day says he's never been more relaxed as he tries to finally lift the US PGA Tour's Pebble Beach Pro-Am trophy that has eluded him for more than a decade.

With his mother Dening visiting from Australia and watching from the gallery on Saturday, the former world No.1 posted a two-under-par 70 at Spyglass Hill to ensure he'll start the final round just three shots off the pace.

Canadian Nick Taylor (69) is the 54-hole leader at 17-under-par, with five-times event winner Phil Mickelson (67) a shot back and Day in third at 14 under.

Dening has been in the US for two months having travelled from Brisbane to Day's home in Ohio for medical tests, she was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2017.

Day said scans his mother had recently came back "awesome".

He says her presence is uplifting as he tries to win the celebrity-laden event after six top-six results in 10 starts since his debut in 2008.

"Yeah, it is good to see (family in the crowd); I'm glad they came around," said Day, who will be in the second-last group on Sunday.

The 32-year-old has finished in the top-five in each of the past three years at Pebble Beach, including a joint runner-up in 2018.

After seriously contemplating retirement due to chronic back injuries last year, Day said this is the calmest he's ever felt at Pebble Beach.

"I've got a lot more gratitude being here; I think I'm a lot more happier and that hopefully yields better play tomorrow," he said.

"It's exciting to be among it; there are going to be a few nerves out there, but I think Nick and Phil are going to have nerves (too).

"I'm definitely looking forward to being back in the hunt."

Day is without a win in 20 months and a top-10 result since June but urged himself to be patient as he chases PGA Tour victory No.13.

"A lot of people would probably (think) I'm desperate for a good finish; I'm not worrying about that," he said.

"I've just got to focus on trying to do the best job I can tomorrow and if it happens, it happens.

"I honestly believe if I keep playing the way I have been, I will win, if not tomorrow then soon."

Matt Jones is next best of the Australians at nine under, while countryman Aaron Baddeley is seven under.

John Senden is six under, while Cameron Davis is three shots further behind.

Greg Chalmers, Rhein Gibson and Rod Pampling all missed the event's 54-hole cut.