San Martin, CA – John Mallinger carded a 1-under 70 in the third round Saturday to remain atop the leaderboard after three rounds of the Frys.com Open.
Mallinger, who will go for his first PGA Tour win on Sunday, completed 54 holes at 15-under-par 198 at CordeValle Golf Club.
Jonas Blixt birdied five of the last eight holes to jump into second place at minus-13. The Swede shot 5-under 66 in the third round.
Charles Howell III also shot 66 to move into a share of third place at 12- under-par 201. He was joined there by Jason Kokrak, who carded a 67 on Saturday.
Vijay Singh and Alexandre Rocha both posted 66s in round three to move into a tie for fifth at minus-11.
Defending champion Bryce Molder had a 66 of his own to move into a share of 12th at minus-9.
Mallinger was four clear to start his round, but his bogey at the third cut his lead to one. He erased that mistake with a 5-foot birdie putt on the fifth to extend his lead back to three.
After a pair of pars, Mallinger found a bad lie in the rough off the tee and left his second well short of the green. He chipped on, but 2-putted for bogey from 28 feet out.
Mallinger's lead was down to two. As he parred the next four holes, his advantage briefly grew to three. Singh, Howell and Nick O'Hern got within two, but Mallinger responded with a 4-foot birdie putt at the 13th.
At the par-5 15th, Mallinger 2-putted for birdie to move his lead back to three. He parred the final three holes to end at 15-under.
"It was a little scrappy. 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," Mallinger said in an interview with Golf Channel. "Hopefully, I can straighten out the drive and make some putts tomorrow."
Blixt was even-par on the front nine with a birdie and a bogey. He started to fly up the leaderboard with birdies at 11 and 13. The Swede birdied the 15th to get to 11-under.
The 28-year-old, who took third last week in Las Vegas, birdied the 17th and followed with a 6-foot birdie putt at the last to finish two back.
"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."
O'Hern, the first-round leader, moved to 11-under with birdies at seven and 13, but stumbled to three bogeys down the stretch to slide back down the leaderboard.
Greg Owen (68), Scott Dunlap (70), Jhonattan Vegas (71), Danny Lee (67) and Russell Knox (65) share seventh at 10-under-par 203.
NOTES: Mallinger owns a piece of the 54-hole lead for the second time in his PGA Tour career...The other time was at the 2009 Byron Nelson Championship, where he finished sixth...Blixt and Kokrak are also winless on the PGA Tour, while Howell has won twice on tour...John Rollins fired a 64 for the low round of the day, and he jumped from a share of 52nd into a tie for 12th.