Golf roundup: John Mallinger in position for first PGA Tour win
San Martin, Calif. • John Mallinger remained in position for his first PGA Tour victory, shooting a 1-under 70 on Saturday in the Frys.com Open to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.
The 33-year-old Mallinger had a 15-under 198 total at CordeValle after opening with a 66 and matching the course record with a 62 on Friday.
"I just didn't have it all. I didn't drive it as well as I did yesterday," Mallinger said. "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 lead, still got a good spot, and look forward to tomorrow."
He has finished second twice in his seven-year career on the tour, losing in a playoff to Bo Van Pelt in Milwaukee in 2009. Mallinger had the third-round lead for the second time in his career. He shared the lead at the 2009 Byron Nelson Championship and ended up tying for sixth.
"I'm going to still stay aggressive and try to make as many birdies as possible," Mallinger said. "It's going to be a birdie day. I mean, it's supposed to be nice tomorrow."
Sweden's Jonas Blixt was second after a 66. He birdied five of the last eight holes.
"The front nine is a little harder," said Blixt, coming off a third-place finish last week in Las Vegas. "The back nine you can make a couple birdies. Hopefully, I can finish like I did today.
He had a simple game plan for Sunday.
"Make birdies," Blixt said.
Charles Howell III and Jason Kokrak were 12 under. Howell had a 66, and Kokrak shot 67.
Conover, N.C. • Fred Funk took a one-stroke lead over Larry Mize in the Greater Hickory Classic, shooting his second straight bogey-free 6-under 66.
The 56-year-old Funk has gone 42 holes without a bogey since the 13th hole Sunday in the final round of the SAS Championship in Cary, N.C. He birdied the final two holes on Rock Barn Golf and Spa's Jones Course.
Funk won at The Woodlands in Texas in May for his seventh Champions Tour title. Mize had a 67. Defending champion Mark Wiebe, Chip Beck and Duffy Waldorf were four strokes back at 8 under. Beck and Waldorf shot 67, and Wiebe had a 69.
First-round leader and Provo resident Dan Forsman, struggling with back problems, was 7 under after a 72.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia • Defending champion Na Yeon Choi maintained a two-shot lead in the LPGA Malaysia, shooting a 3-under 68 in the rain-interrupted third round.
The South Korean player had a 13-under 200 total after opening with rounds of 65 and 67 at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club. She birdied the first hole before play was delayed for more than four hours because of lightning and rain, and finished with four birdies and a lone bogey on the 10th hole.