Mallinger Red-Hot at CordeValle


John Mallinger carded a slick, course record-matching 62 to forge a four-stroke lead in the Frys.com Open through 36 holes. The $5 million PGA Tour event started Thursday at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif.

Mallinger was hot on both nines Friday, especially on the inward half, when things got interesting. After three birdies on the front side - for a 3-under 32 on the par-71 course - and two more on Nos. 11 and 12 to tie Billy Horschel for the lead at 10-under, the Southern Californian eagled the par-5 15th and added birdies on the final two par-4s for a 6-under 30 coming home.

Mallinger, who despite such flashes of brilliance is yet to win on the PGA Tour, is at 14-under 128. Tied for second at 132 are Billy Horschel and Jhonattan Vegas.

After opening with two birdies and a bogey, Horschel also got warmed up on the back, firing five birdies for a 5-under 31 on the inward half en route to a 65 and a 36-hole total of 10-under 132. "I played well on the front," said the 25-year-old Floridian, who had some stellar up-and-downs. "Just left a couple birdie putts short. Birdied No. 8. Then I hit 5 wood into No. 9. I just blocked it out there in the bunker.

"Luckily enough I had a down-slope in the bunker so it made it easier to play a little chunk and run. Obviously just trying to get it within five, six feet. Obviously a little tap in is a good shot."

Vegas' 67 came after a 65. Through two rounds the Venezuelan has 14 birdies and four bogeys. Starting on the 10th tee, Vegas birdied his final hole, the par-5 ninth to also be four strokes behind Mallinger heading into Saturday. "Good way to finish the round," the 28-year-old said. "A little bit of an up and down round, but good solid round to finish. Excited they way I am playing, and good position for the weekend."

Among those five shots behind Mallinger is first-round leader Nick O'Hern, who began with a course record-tying 62 but never got untracked Friday, shooting an even-par 71. "You know it's always tough to back up a score like yesterday where everything just seemed to go right," said the 40-year-old from Perth, Australia.

"With a 5:00 a.m. wake-up call you're not quite feeling as alert as I guess a 1:00 tee time. I wasn't as sharp today. Pretty plain and simple. I putted nicely, and that's the key for me. If level-par is as bad as it gets, I'm pretty happy."

Tied for fourth with O'Hern are Scott Dunlap (63) and Nicolas Colsaerts, who had a 68 after a 65. "I played really well (Thursday) in probably tough conditions, and today I didn't really find my groove that I did yesterday," said the long-hitting Belgian and member of the victorious 2012 European Ryder Cup team. "But kind of glad I got in with a decent score and moving on."

Colsaerts - who's still vacillating on which tour (European or PGA) he'll play in 2013 - is a fan of America's tournaments and courses. "It's a lot of fun. The courses suit me maybe a little better than the ones we play week in and week out in Europe. The conditions of the courses are just unbelievable to what we're used to. So, yeah, it's a kid's dream to play on courses as immaculate as these."

Defending champion Bryce Molder had a 67 after an even-par 71 Thursday to safely make the 36-hole cut of 1-under 141.

Jonas Blixt had a 68 to get to 134. Forty-three-year-old Frank Lickliter shot a 7-under 64 and is tied for ninth at 135 with five others.

For complete scoring, visit http://www.pgatour.com/r/leaderboard.

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