For the second time this week, a player tied the course record at CordeValle. This time it was John Mallinger, who shot 62 Friday to take a four-shot lead at 14 under halfway through the Frys.com Open.
Mallinger, who has yet to make a bogey this week, made seven birdies and an eagle in the second round. He shot 30 on the back nine and took just 26 putts for a second straight day.
Billy Horschel and Jhonattan Vegas are tied for second at 10 under, while Nicolas Colsaerts is one of three players another stroke back.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Tiger Woods is retaking his place at the top of the golf pantheon. His win on Sunday at the AT&T National – his third in seven starts -- gave him a PGA TOUR-leading three wins on the season, the FedExCup points lead and solo second place on the all-time TOUR victory list.
Where is it all coming from? The added “reps”, as Woods frequently cites? The work with swing coach Sean Foley? The weather? (Tiger’s an especially strong player in the heat.)
The answer may be simpler than that. He’s simply rolling the ball better.
Woods was ninth at Congressional in Strokes Gained-Putting with his Nike Method 001 putter, picking up nearly a shot and a half on the greens for the week. He’s now 14th in Strokes Gained-Putting for the year and 11th in Total Putting, a stat that combines putting averages from various distances.
“I feel like I really controlled the putter well this week,” Woods said. “I had a lot of good putts, and I had a lot of -- for some reason I had a lot of putts that were downhill, big, breaking putts. I hit a lot of good putts this week.”
The Method putter features Nike’s polymetal groove technology, which gets the ball rolling with forward spin more quickly after impact.
Woods wasn’t the only one with a big week at AT&T with a Method 001. Jhonattan Vegas finished T4, his best of the season.
D2 DEBUTS: Titleist unveiled its new 913 drivers for pros at AT&T, and 14 of the 34 players who teed up Titleist drivers in competition used the new models.
Seung-Yul Noh, using a 7.5-degree 913D3, finished highest with a T4, while Nick Watney finished 10th with a 10.5-degree 913D3. Brendon de Jonge, the 54-hole leader at Congressional, ended tied for 11th with his 9.5-degree 913 D3.
The newest members of Titleist’s 900 family (“9” is the designation for metalwoods and “13” is the model year) feature some cosmetic differences and a weight cartridge at the rear of the clubhead. Like the previous 910 models, Titleist’s SureFit Tour hosel helps a player dial in the ideal lie and loft.
There are two models, the D2 and D3, with the D2 having a slightly bigger head. Of the 14 pros at AT&T, 11 played the D3 and three (Bud Cauley, Tom Gillis and John Merrick) chose the D2.
Rory McIlroy put an 8.5-degree 913D3 at the Irish Open, finishing in a tie for 10th.
BEER!: For those of you who consider beer as essential “equipment” for your weekend rounds, there’s a new brew inspired by Sam Snead.
Slammin’ Sam is a craft-brewed American lager developed off a proprietary recipe and made in Wisconsin by Stevens Point Brewery. It debuts this week at The Greenbrier Resort, which is hosting the PGA TOUR’s Greenbrier Classic.
“It makes sense for Slammin’ Sam beer to be introduced here,” said Jeff Kmiec, president and managing director of The Greenbrier Resort. “Sam Snead called The Greenbrier his professional home for more than 60 years and I think he’d be happy to know guests will savor a beer that bears his nickname.”
The beer’s packaging features famous images of Snead and is available in cans, bottles and kegs. The company plans to launch the product soon at other golf resorts around North America.
For more information, check out a fun Q&A with the founder of Slammin’ Sam here.
LOOKING AT LYTHAM: Justin Rose and Justin Leonard had new hybrids built in the TaylorMade truck at Congressional, purposely for the British Open later this month. Rose got a 16-degree Rescue 11, designed for him to hit piercing shots in the wind. Leonard got two 17-degree Rescue 11s and compared the two during practice rounds at Congressional.
BITS: Martin Laird put a new TaylorMade Ghost Spider IB belly putter in play at Congressional, replacing his longtime Ghost Tour DA-12 belly model. He finished T11. … John Mallinger also finished T11 at AT&T, playing a new set of TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons. He’s moving away from an older model of TP irons which had “pretty dead” grooves, in his words. … Kevin Stadler had never played a 5-wood but tested a Callaway Razr Fit model and liked how it fit a gap between his 3-wood and hybrid. He tested it, found that he could hit his standard high cut with it, and put it in play at AT&T.
WINNER’S BAG: Woods at the AT&T
Driver: Nike VR Tour (8.5 degree, Graphite Design DI 6X shaft)
Fairway wood: Nike VR Pro Limited Edition 3-wood (15 degrees); Nike SQ II 5-wood (19 degrees)
Irons: Nike VR Pro Blades (3-PW)
Wedges: Nike VR Pro (56, 60 degrees)
Putter: Nike Method 001
Ball: Nike ONE Tour D
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- John Mallinger just keeps moving forward as he stalks what would be his first PGA TOUR victory.
The Long Beach resident just jumped back into a tie for the lead with Mark Wilson at 22 under as he made a 4-footer at the par-5 15th hole.
Mallinger has only made one bogey in his last 54 holes. He's 6 under through 14 holes in the final round.
LA QUINTA, Calif. -- John Mallinger has just joined the group at the top of the leaderboard early during the final round of the Humana Challenge.
Mallinger just holed a wedge from 48 feet at the par-5 sixth hole for an eagle. The lanky Californian is now tied with Brandt Snedeker and Mark Wilson at 20 under, two strokes ahead of the field.
Mallinger struggled last season on the PGA TOUR, making just six cuts in 15 starts. When he didn't qualify for the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, Mallinger opted to play the Nationwide Tour where he posted five straight top-10s, including two runner-up finishes.
The Long Beach State grad is looking for his first TOUR victory.
It looks like John Mallinger will have to wait for the Fall Series to earn the right to secure his card for the 2012 season.
The veteran was as high as solo second for a chunk of the day -- exactly where he needed to be to make The Barclays next week -- but a pair of bogeys has slid him back all the way into a tie for seventh. He's going to have to finish strong to secure his first top 10 since ... the 2010 Wyndham Championship, where he tied for third.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- John Mallinger has just bogeyed the 11th hole, playing a bit of Army golf from the rough.
With that, he dropped into a five-way tie for second -- and out of the top 125. That boosted Padraig Harrington back to No. 124 and William McGirt back to the bubble spot. Justin Leonard, who is playing the 18th hole, is less than a point behind.
Minutes later, though, McGirt and Leonard had changed spots – likely due to Tommy Gainey’s double bogey at the 11th hole.
A birdie-birdie start has John Mallinger at 14 under and in solo second -- and he will likely need to hold his position if he wants to make the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
Mallinger, who has made just five cuts in 13 starts this year, can get 300 points with a solo second.
Mallinger made the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup every year from 2007 to 2009, but a disastrous 2010 cost him his TOUR card.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- There was a point on Tuesday when John Mallinger thought about withdrawing from the Wyndham Championship and flying to San Diego.
His father, Joe, was in a hospital there with fluid in his lungs. The elder Mallinger would hear nothing of it, though, and he told his son to stay and compete.
"So I feel like I'm kind of playing for him," Mallinger said.
And playing well, too. Mallinger fired his second straight 65 on Saturday at Sedgefield Country Club and will start the final round at 12 under, three strokes off the lead. He'll play in the penultimate group on Sunday with Carl Pettersson as he tries to win for the first time on TOUR.
And the best news of all? Joe Mallinger is getting better every day. Imagine what a tonic a victory would be for him.
Mallinger has a good track record at Sedgefield, too, after tying for third at the Wyndham Championship. Granted, he hasn't had much success in 2011 with just fives cuts made in 13 starts but all that could change on Sunday.
"It was obviously a good day," Mallinger said. "I came back after I a bad swing on 14, I came back with three birdies in a row. I finally got the putter working this week. I feel like I've been playing well for two, three months now and finally made some putts fall. It's good."
Mallinger needs some more good days, too. He started the week a
distant 212th in the FedExCup. He's 217th on the money list, as
well, as he tries to regain his exempt status for the 2012
So Sunday could be a big one.
"Obviously it's important," Mallinger said. "They're all important. I kind of take it one shot at a time. I'm so far back I kind of have nothing to lose. All these guys are fighting to get in The Playoffs. I'm playing one hole at a time and see where I end up."
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- John Mallinger played in the Wyndham Championship for the first time last year and tied for third.
He's back at Sedgefield Country Club again this week and will enter Sunday's final round with a chance to win his first PGA TOUR event. Mallinger is 6 under through 17 holes and owns sole possession of the lead, one shot ahead of Tommy Gainey and Carl Pettersson.
The 2011 season hasn't been a particularly good one for Mallinger. He lost his exempt status after finishing No. 133 on the money list and he's only been able to play in 13 events, making just five cuts and earning just $77,578.
So Sunday could be a big one for Mallinger, whose best finish on the PGA TOUR came when he finished second at the 2009 U.S Bank Championship in Milwaukee. He's playing for job security as well as a possible spot in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
Mallinger, who currently ranks 212th in the FedExCup, likely needs to finish first or second to make the Playoffs. A victory would give Mallinger a two-year exemption on TOUR, as well.