Mallinger Two Up in Open

John Mallinger maintained his lead in the Open. Starting the third round with a four-stroke edge over the field, the 33-year-old Californian carded a 1-under 70 to reach 15-under 198 in the $5 million PGA Tour at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif.

Two strokes back is Sweden's Jonas Blixt, who posted a 5-under 66. After going out in even-par 35, the 28-year old former student at Florida State posted five birdies for a 31 in the inward half. Sharing third at 201 are Charles Howell III (66) and Jason Kokrak (67).

Howell, a 33-year-old from Augusta, Ga., had seven birdies - including four on the front nine - and two bogeys for his second 66 of the tournament. "I got off to a good start today and took advantage of it early with it being a bit soft and calm," he said.

"I made a couple loose bogeys, but I finished well," added Howell, a two-time Tour winner whose last title came in the 2007 Nissan Open. "I hung in there. It'll be a shootout tomorrow. The greens are so soft and there will be a lot of birdies, but at least I have a chance."

Also shooting 66s were Vijay Singh and Alexandre Rocha, who are now tied for fifth at 202. After posting an even-par 35 on the inward half, the 49-year-old Singh got rolling on the back side, posting two birdies and an eagle on the 17th after his tee shot stopped five feet short of the pin and he made the putt on the drivable par-4.

"Got it going on the back nine, you know, tomorrow is another day," said the three-time major winner. "The pins were a little tougher today, so that's why the scores are not as low. Playing well. I found something in my putting that's working really, really good, so hopefully tomorrow I can get some going."

Five shots behind Mallinger are Russell Knox (65), Greg Owen (68), Scott Dunlap (70) and Jhonattan Vegas (71). Six back are Gary Woodland (66), defending champion Bryce Molder (66), Jerry Kelly (67), John Rollins (64), D.A. Points (69), Nicolas Colsaerts (71) and first-round leader Nick O'Hern, who after opening with a 62 has posted two straight 71s.

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