By: Fred Albers, PGA TOUR.COM Correspondent
Calif. -- Give John Mallinger credit for the most creative shot of
the third round of the Frys.com Open on Saturday. Mallinger had an
eagle putt on the 15th green but had to roll it over a knoll that
would send the ball breaking hard to the left. A two-putt would
have been challenging, so Mallinger decided not to putt. He used a
wedge and chipped over the knoll from off the tight grass of the
green, getting the ball to spin to a halt 3 feet above the hole.
From there, Mallinger went on to make birdie. It’s officially
recorded as a two-putt.
Vijay Singh was not giving away
any secrets, but changes have been made. Singh says he discovered
something that clicked in his putting during practice this week and
has been confident on the greens. Singh would not elaborate, only
saying it was a minor change to his grip. It has not been a good
putting year for the Fijian. Singh is ranked 175th in strokes
gained-putting. Even more troublesome, Singh is 151st in
final-round scoring with a stroke average of 72.4.
Jonas Blixt had a good time on the
golf course Saturday afternoon. He frequently chatted with his
brother and his brother’s girlfriend during the course of
play, laughing and joking as if it was the most casual of Saturday
rounds. Blixt will be without their companionship on Sunday as the
couple will not be at the golf course.
Saturday is known as "moving day" on the
PGA TOUR but if you have a four-shot lead and are trying to win for
the first time, then it becomes "Hold On Saturday." That's just
what Mallinger did. He played well enough to hold on to his lead.
Mallinger hit nine of 14 fairways and 11 greens but took 28 putts.
He had putting rounds of 26 and 26 on both Thursday and Friday. He
is now ranked 47th this week in strokes-gained-putting.
Tough hole location:
The cup was cut 15 paces onto
the seventh green and five paces off the left. That hole location
is just a few feet past a false front on the green and it created
problems. Nicolas Colsaerts ran it off the green and made double
bogey. Jhonattan Vegas blasted out of the back bunker, rolled it
off the green and finally made a 15-footer for a one-putt bogey.
Wife knows best?:
If Mallinger wins on Sunday, he
needs to thank his wife, Jan, who followed her husband, walking 18
holes in the third round, and worried over every shot. She
constantly looked for a combination that would bring John good
luck. Jan finally discovered if she carried her chapstick in her
front left pocket and put her cell phone in her back left pocket,
then John would make putts. With that specific combination,
Mallinger birdied two of four holes. Jan says her mojo will be full
force for Sunday.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
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