Daily Wrap-up: Round 3, Frys.com Open

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October 13, 2012
Staff, wire reports

SAN MARTIN, Calif. -- 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 Sunday's final round.

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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 (the) 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.

"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 a 67.

Shot of the Day

Bill Lunde had an amazing tee shot on the par-4 17th hole on Saturday at CordeValle.

"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."

Howell 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, Kokrak needs to make up some ground to get inside the top 125 to earn his TOUR card for next season.

Vijay Singh and Brazil's Alexandre Rocha were 11 under. They both 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.

CordeValle GC: Round 3
EASIEST HOLE TOUGHEST HOLE
The par-5 15th hole was the easiest with a Saturday scoring average of 4.528.
EAGLES: 1 BIRDIES: 40 PARS: 25 BOGEYS: 5 OTHER: 1
The par-4 eighth hole was the toughest with a Saturday scoring average of 4.222.
EAGLES: 0 BIRDIES: 9 PARS: 43
BOGEYS: 15 OTHERS: 5
About the leader: John Mallinger
• Mallinger's two-stroke lead matches that of Briny Baird's third-round lead at CordeValle GC last year. The last time this season there wasn't a tie for the 54-hole lead was when Louis Oosthuizen led by three strokes after the third round of the Deutsche Bank Championship.
• This marks just the second time Mallinger has held the third-round lead/co-lead on the PGA TOUR. He previously held a share of the 54-hole lead at the 2009 HP Byron Nelson Championship, before finishing T6.
• Mallinger, currently No. 98 on the official money list, is looking for his third top 10 of the season. He did not have any top 10s last year on TOUR and only one in 2010. He had four top 10s in three straight seasons from 2007-2009. Mallinger's best finish on TOUR this season was a T2 at the Humana Challenge in Palm Springs.
• In four previous starts at the Frys.com Open, Mallinger posted 10 of 12 rounds at par-or-better during the first three rounds, but was over par in the final round all four years.

"I found something in my putting that's working really, really good, so hopefully tomorrow I can get (something) going," Singh said. "I've changed my grip a little bit and it's flowing really freely. So that's a big plus."

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