John Mallinger is in position to claim his first career PGA Tour victory in the 2012 Frys.com Open.
A consistent challenger from 2007 to 2009, Mallinger had seven top three finishes and earned more than $1 Million each year. Beginning in 2010, however, his career went downhill and by the end of 2011 he was 195th on the money list, in position to lose his playing privileges.
While struggling in 2011, the 33-year-old native of Escondido, California, turned to the Nationwide Tour. In nine starts he claimed six consecutive top 10 finishes and ended up 14th on that Tour's money list, earning his PGA Tour card again for 2012.
John Mallinger nearly won the Humana Challenge in January, finishing in a tie for second, posting scores of 68 or better in each of the four rounds. Overall he has six top 25 finishes, made the cut 12 times, and earnings of nearly $950,000 (98th on the money list).
A first round score of 66 placed Mallinger near the top of the leaderboard in a tie for fourth. Friday's second round at CordeValle Golf Club, in San Martin, California, was truly special. Including an eagle at the par-5 15th hole, plus seven birdies, he tied his all-time personal best on Tour with a nine-under par score of 62. After 36 holes, at the halfway point of the tournament, John Mallinger has a four shot lead, certainly in a strong position to win the championship.
In his post-round interview (transcript available at pgatour.com), when asked about being bogey-free for two rounds, John Mallinger replied, "Let's not talk about it." There will be plenty to talk about if he hoists the trophy as champion of the Frys.com Open on Sunday, October 14, 2012, including his first invitation to the Masters Tournament at Augusta.
Harold Andrews has played golf (competitively and recreationally) for nearly 50 years. He considers Jack Nicklaus the greatest of all time.
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