Baird's performance put him at 13-under 200 after 54 holes, good for a two-stroke lead at CordeValle Golf Club in northern California.
Tiger Woods registered his second straight 3-under 68 in his first start in two months, leaving him tied for 38th place at 4-under 209.
The 14-time major tourney winner is seeking to tune up for the President's Cup after a season marred by a knee injury and spotty play.
A four-way logjam for fourth included Charlie Wi (64), Bryce Molder (65), Adam Hadwin (64) and Bud Cauley (68).
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