John Mallinger’s 36-hole lead was cut in half. The good news is he’s still ahead by two shots after Round 3 as he chases his first PGA TOUR victory at the Frys.com Open.
Mallinger carded a 1-under 70 and saw his lead dwindle from four shots to two via rookie Jonas Blixt heading into Sunday’s final round at CordeValle in San Martin, Calif. You can watch the final round on Golf Channel, beginning at 4 p.m. ET.
“I just didn’t have it all,” said Mallinger, who tied the course record with a 62 on Friday. “I didn’t drive it as well as I did yesterday. 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.”
Mallinger has come close to breaking into the winner’s circle before. He tied for second at this season’s Humana Challenge in partnership with the Clinton Foundation. He also finished second in a playoff to Bo Van Pelt at the 2009 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.
Blixt is in contention for the second straight week, having faded to a third-place finish at last week’s J.T. Shriners Hospitals for Children Open after a final-round 70.
“Just make birdies,” Blixt said of his plan. “We’ll see.”
Charles Howell III, seeking his first win since 2007, and Jason Kokrak are tied for third place at 12 under. Vijay Singh, who turns 50 in February, is in contention again and is tied for fifth place with Alexandre Rocha at 11 under.
“I saw the leaderboard there at the end. Looks like there is a whole bunch guys up there, so it’ll take something low tomorrow from whoever does it,” Howell said. “The golf course is set up for it with a drivable par‑4 at 17. It’s a neat finish.”
- John Mallinger