The World No.10, who has four top-six finishes in eight previous starts on California's famed Monterey Peninsula, signed for a two under 70 with his 14-under score good enough for tied runner-up.

He finished three shots back of winner Ted Potter Jr, whose career almost came to an end when he stepped off a curb in Canada in August 2014 and broke his ankle.

That injury kept him out of golf for two years and then back to the secondary tour a year ago.

The American journeyman, ranked 246th, withstood final-round pressure from golf's biggest names to ice his second PGA Tour victory with a 69 to finish at 17 under.

Day was joined in second place by World No.1 Dustin Johnson (72), five-time major winner Phil Mickelson (67) and Chez Reavie (68).

Day salutes the crowd after saving his par on the 18th hole in his final round. PHOTO: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images.

The usually aggressive Day showed his fighting spirit when he used a driver off the deck for his second shot into the par-5 18th from 255 yards.

He pulled it into the hazard but managed to play his ball from the shoreline of the iconic Pebble Beach, making a miraculous par.

"I'm trying to win a tournament, you can't play for outright second," Day told AAP.

"No one is going to remember me (for laying up) and getting second place.

"My hand was forced; I need to give myself a chance to make an eagle and put a little bit of pressure on."

Rod Pampling was next best of the Australians after a 71 left him at four under, while countryman Aaron Baddeley closed with a 73 for a three-under total.

- Evin Priest, Australian Associated Press