The West

Mallinger retains PGA lead
John Mallinger. Pic: Getty Images

American John Mallinger, winless in seven years on the PGA Tour, fired a one-under 70 on Saturday to maintain the lead after the third round of the $US5 million the US PGA Tour event in California.

The 33-year-old had a 15-under 198 total at the CordeValle golf course. He equalled the course record 62 in the second round after opening with a 66 on Thursday.

"It was a little scrappy," said Mallinger, who has a two-shot lead. "I didn't have my best off the tee, but I started hitting some good shots coming in. I hit a lot of good putts that just didn't fall.

"Hopefully, I can straighten out the drive and make some putts tomorrow."

Mallinger had finished second twice, including losing in a playoff to Bo Van Pelt three years ago in Milwaukee.

Sweden's Jonas Blixt was second after a 66, while Americans Charles Howell and Jason Kokrak were another stroke back at 12 under. Howell shot a 66, and Kokrak fired a 67.

Australia's Nick O'Hern, who held the outright lead after blasting a course record nine-under 62 in the opening round, posted his second-straight par 71 to slip further down the leaderboard - he is now in a tie for 12th.

Australian trio Nathan Green, Matt Jones and Steven Bowditch are two shots back at seven-under in a share of 28th place.

The 28-year-old Blixt birdied five of the last eight holes. He was even-par on the front nine with a birdie and a bogey.

He shot up the leaderboard with birdies at 11 and 13 and then rolled in a birdie on 15 to get to 11-under.

Blixt birdied the 17th and followed with a six-foot birdie putt at 18 to finish two back. He finished third last week in Las Vegas.

"The front nine is a little harder. The back nine you can make a couple birdies," Blixt said. "Hopefully, I can finish like I did today."

Greg Owen (68), Scott Dunlap (70), Jhonattan Vegas (71), Danny Lee (67) and Russell Knox (65) share seventh at 10-under-par 203.

The West Australian

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