In extra time, the duo matched birdie-4s on the first two tours of the 18th, routine pars at the par-3 16th, 2-putt pars at the 17th and birdie-4s again at 18. "I couldn't even see the flag, " said Day afterward.
"I know that previous year wasn't the greatest season for me and I had a lot of stuff going on off course". 'It's special because I worked very hard in the off-season to get back in this position.
Day is the former world No. 1 who had fallen to No. 14 in the rankings.
Beset by injuries and family issues in the past 18 months, Day has fallen to 14th in the world rankings after spending 47 of his 51 total weeks at No.1 until as recently as February a year ago.
Both Day and Noren ended a windy Sunday playing in the dark with birdies on the fifth hole of the playoff.
Day, whose winless stretch dates to the Players in Florida in May 2016, reached a playoff in the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines in San Diego today, but after five holes of playoff, he and Sweden's Alex Noren could not be separated, and darkness intervened.
5- 18th hole: Day finds a fairway trap and Noren hits the green in two, applying the pressure.
Day laid up then stuck a wedge to 18 inches, and Noren failed to chip in after his drop.
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The 35-year-old needed to hole out his fourth shot from the relief area but could only get to 12 feet and when he missed the tricky putt, Day had two putts for victory - which he took at the first attempt.
Despite his success on the European Tour, Noren is little known in the United States - and he's happy to fly under the radar. Noren made bogey before Day attempted his birdie putt.
"It was between the 5-wood - I didn't think it was going to get there - and the 3-wood would have gone back there where [Noren] was (over the green)", Holmes said. "Very enjoyable. This is what I play for".
"We just need a few cars on the fairways to show us where we're going". It's his second Farmers victory in nine tries, joining a playoff win in 2015.
Ryan Palmer began the playoff with them at 10-under 278.
The playoff between Jason Day and Alex Noren extended to an extra day after they tied the first five extra holes.
Brisbane native Cameron Smith finished tied 20th at four-under courtesy of a closing 72, while Australian Open victor Cameron Davis plummeted down the leaderboard with an 80 to sit at three-over.