John Mallinger shoots 62, leads Open

October 13, 2012

SAN MARTIN, Calif. (AP) - John Mallinger opened a four-stroke lead Friday in the Open, making an eagle and two birdies on the final four holes for a 9-under 62.

Mallinger eagled the par-5 15th - hitting a 5-wood to 10 feet - and closed with consecutive birdies to cap his second straight bogey-free round and reach 14 under.

He matched the CordeValle record and his PGA Tour best with the 62.

``Any time you get it that low everything was kind of clicking,'' Mallinger said. ``Drove it great, irons were great, and made putts.''

He didn't want to jinx the bogey-free start.

``Let's not talk about it,'' Mallinger said.

He tapped in for birdie on 17, and made a 15-footer on 18.

``It's the same grass I practice on at home,'' Mallinger said. ``I'm just real comfortable with the speed. I just have some good thoughts over the putter right now, and that's not every week. Hopefully, I can take advantage of it and keep it going into the weekend.''

The 33-year-old Mallinger is winless in seven seasons on the PGA Tour. He has finished second twice, losing in a playoff to Bo Van Pelt in Milwaukee in 2009.

``I feel like I'm close,'' Mallinger said. ``I'm not going into the weekend scared. I'm going to play and compete as hard as I can.''

Billy Horschel and Jhonattan Vegas were second. Horschel had a 65, and Vegas shot 67.

Horschel also birdied the final two holes, escaping trouble on the par-4 17th.

``Unfortunately, pull-hooked a 3-wood,'' Horschel said. ``Got over there and was in a little burrow, animal spot, and was lucky enough to get a drop. ... It's not as bad it's looks. It looks tall but it's dead and it comes out easy. I was into the left side of the green, had the face open, and was just trying to swing as hard as I could and get it somewhere near the green and not have it go in the water. Came out perfect and, obviously, caught the backslope and rolled down to a couple feet. It was more luck than skill.''

Vegas is 126th on the money list, with the top 125 earning full 2013 cards.

``It's never good to finish one spot out, but it's something you got to deal with,'' Vegas said. ``Just got to try to put that behind and focus on the next tournament.''

First-round leader Nick O'Hern followed his opening 62 with a 71 to drop into a tie for fourth at 9 under with European Ryder Cup player Nicolas Colsaerts and Scott Dunlap.

``Didn't play, obviously, as well as yesterday,'' O'Hern said. ``Probably had nine more putts, so there is the nine strokes. I didn't quite hit it as close as I did, but, all in all, I'm pleased.''

Colsaerts had a 68, and Dunlap shot 63.

Colsaerts is a special temporary PGA Tour member and needs to finish the equivalent of 125th on the money list to earn a full 2013 card. The long-hitting Belgian player has earned $652,886, enough now for the 120th spot.

``My goal was to just make sure that I get the most out of this week so I can have the freedom to do whatever I want next year,'' Colsaerts said. ``We're looking good right now, but there are still two rounds to go and a lot of guys can still move up the leaderboard.''

British Open winner Ernie Els was 3 under after a 68.

Mike Weir missed the cut by a stroke with rounds of 71 and 71, leaving the Canadian 0 for 13 this season. John Daly also failed to advance to weekend play, shooting 75-70.