Golf Open – Third Round Preview

Allan Henry-US Presswire

John Mallinger (pictured) had an eagle and two birdies over the last four holes in his second round of the Open. He has a four shot lead ahead of play on Saturday as he looks to secure a first win on either the main Tour or Tour.

Mallinger’s best finish to date was second place at the Humana Challenge in January. In that tournament he broke 70 in each round so he proved that he could maintain his form when contending. He did nothing wrong over the weekend. It’s just that Mark Wilson held more putts down the stretch.

Mallinger is currently 88th in the FedEx Cup rank so he has no concerns about retaining his playing privileges for next year. The leading 125 players in the Money List at the end of the season keep their cards for 2013. Mallinger is 169th in the Official World Ranking so a win this week would help him get close to the top 100 in the standings.

The winning score in the two years that CordeValle in California has hosted this tournament has been 15 and 17 under. Those totals are looking to be matched at least this week and the tournament winner on Sunday may need to go as low as 20 under.

Nicolas Colsaerts was the best player on the first day of the Ryder Cup. He recorded eight birdies in an eagle alongside Lee Westwood which helped Europe to win that match 1 Up against Tiger Woods and Steve Stricker.

Colsaerts has been invited to play on the PGA Tour on the strength of his form and Ryder Cup effort. He won the World Match Play earlier this year and is now at a career high of 35 in the world rankings.

Colsaerts is five shots behind Malinger after his second round. Two late bogeys on Friday could be costly but they were offset by four birdies on the back nine. The course is not ideally suited to Colsaerts’ game which is based on above average length off the tee. However, if he putts well over the weekend the Belgian will be a threat to Malinger.

The same could be said of Jonas Blixt from Sweden who is 2011 graduate of the Web.Com tour. He was third in the JT Shriners Open last week and he has maintained a level of form which could also see him contend again on Sunday afternoon.