John Mallinger doesn’t seem to have a single thing on his mind today besides birdies. He birdied the ninth hole then rattled off five in a row to open his back nine at Annandale Golf Club, where he’s 6 under through 15 holes (he bogeyed the par-3 15th to end the streak).
Like Tag Ridings, Mallinger is in contention for his first victory of the year. Of his nine events played, Mallinger has only made the cut in three of them,
Mallinger’s best finish of the year was a tie for 40th at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, where he made just 12 birdies the entire week. He’s already well on his way to eclipsing that.
The projected cut at the Viking Classic right now is even par, which isn’t good news for John Mallinger, among others. Right now, Mallinger, who shots 73-72 through the first two rounds to stand at even par, is projected to fall even further outside the top 125 on the money list (from No. 128 to 132).
Ditto Joe Ogilvie, who opened with a 68 but has struggled here in the second round at 5 over through 13 holes. Ogilvie started the week 123rd on the money list, but is currently projected to drop to No. 126.
Among those projected to make the biggest move in the other direction? Nathan Green, who is 3 under through 16 holes and if the tournament ended right now would climb 24 spots to No. 112. For the complete projected money list, click here .
To show you how quickly things can change – when John Mallinger finished off his round of 62, he had moved from No. 163 to 121st in the FedExCup standings. He was tied for third, as well.
About 20 minutes and eight interviews later, Mallinger was clocking in at No. 126. He has a 6 p.m. flight back to Las Vegas but he’s waiting to see what happens. – Helen Ross
John Mallinger hasn’t had a lot of positives this year. He’s missed 15 cuts in 23 starts with a tie for 13th as his best finish. He came to Greensboro ranked No. 163 in the FedExCup, as well.
The Californian is chasing his first top-10 finish of the season at Sedgefield, though. He’s currently 5 under through 11 holes and in a seven-way tie for second.
Mallinger has also climbed 35 spots in the projected FedExCup standings – three spots away from the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
The farthest anyone has come from behind to qualify was J.J. Henry in 2008 when he started the week 177th and moved up 42 spots. That was the last year the field for The Barclays was 144, not 125 as it is now. – Helen Ross
The first five months of the season for John Mallinger featured 12 missed cuts in 15 events. The last month? Mallinger has twice finished in the top 25 and on Friday put himself in the top 10 heading to the weekend at the AT&T National.
It’s probably not coincidence then that Mallinger started playing better about the time he switched caddies -- Brent Henley, who has looped for Woody Austin is now on the bag. It wasn’t so much what Mallinger wasn’t getting from his previous caddie, but what Henley was able to help him with.
“He got me back in shape -- little attitude adjustment,” Mallinger said after a 70 on Friday that leaves him at 3 under with two rounds to play. “We're working really well together.”
Mallinger is also hitting it straighter and finding more greens in regulation.
“I was playing well, I just wasn't scoring well,” Mallinger said. “I wasn't playing the golf course how I should have, and now I'm starting to do that and starting to see some results. When I'd get down I'd start pressing a little bit.” -- Brian Wacker