John Mallinger leads Frys.com Open heading into final round
SAN MARTIN, Calif. (AP) - John Mallinger remained in position for his first PGA Tour victory, shooting a 1-under 70 on Saturday in the Frys.com Open to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.
The 33-year-old Mallinger had a 15-under 198 total at CordeValle after opening with a 66 and matching the course record with a 62 on Friday.
``I just didn't have it all. I didn't drive it as well as I did yesterday,'' Mallinger said. ``I think I hit every fairway yesterday, and then today I just got off to a weird start. But I hung around there and made some birdies on the back nine that got me back into position. Still got lead, still got a good spot, and look forward to tomorrow.''
He has finished second twice in his seven-year career on the tour, losing in a playoff to Bo Van Pelt in Milwaukee in 2009. Mallinger had the third-round lead for the second time in his career. He shared the lead at the 2009 Byron Nelson Championship and ended up tying for sixth.
``I'm going to still stay aggressive and try to make as many birdies as possible,'' Mallinger said. ``It's going to be a birdie day. I mean, it's supposed to be nice tomorrow.''
Sweden's Jonas Blixt was second after a 66. He birdied five of the last eight holes.
``The front nine is a little harder,'' said Blixt, coming off a third-place finish last week in Las Vegas. ``The back nine you can make a couple birdies. Hopefully, I can finish like I did today.
He had a simple game plan for Sunday.
``Make birdies,'' Blixt said.
Charles Howell III and Jason Kokrak were 12 under. Howell had a 66, and Kokrak shot 67.
``It'll be a shootout tomorrow,'' Howell said. ``The greens are so soft and there will be a lot of birdies, but at least I have a chance.''
He won the last of two tour titles in 2007.
Kokrak is in his first year on the tour after winning twice late last year on the Web.com Tour.
``This is the first time I put myself in really good position,'' Kokrak said. ``I just want to go out tomorrow and do the same things I did today.''
At 167th on the money list, he's in danger of losing his tour card.
Vijay Singh and Brazil's Alexandre Rocha were 11 under. They shot 66.
The 49-year-old Singh won the last of his 34 PGA Tour titles in 2008. He birdied Nos. 15 and 16, eagled the short par-4 17th and closed with a par.
``I found something in my putting that's working really, really good, so hopefully tomorrow I can get some going,'' Singh said. ``I've changed my grip a little bit and it's flowing really freely. So that's a big plus.''
British Open champion Ernie Els was 5 under after a 69.