Mallinger retains Open lead

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John Mallinger remained in position for his first PGA Tour victory, shooting a 1-under 70 on Saturday in the Open to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.


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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.

''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.

''It'll be a shootout tomorrow,'' Howell said. ''The greens are so soft and there will be a lot of birdies, but at least I have a chance.''

He won the last of two tour titles in 2007.

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Vijay Singh and Brazil's Alexandre Rocha were 11 under. They shot 66.

The 49-year-old Singh won the last of his 34 PGA Tour titles in 2008. He birdied Nos. 15 and 16, eagled the short par-4 17th and closed with a par.

''I found something in my putting that's working really, really good, so hopefully tomorrow I can get some going,'' Singh said. ''I've changed my grip a little bit and it's flowing really freely. So that's a big plus.''

Tagged: Vijay Singh, Charles Howell III, Jonas Blixt, John Mallinger

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