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First PGA win in sight

SAN MARTIN, Calif. — John Mallinger remained in position for his first PGA Tour victory, shooting 1-under 70 Saturday in the Open to take a two-stroke lead into the final round.

Mallinger, 33, finished the round 15-under 198 in the fall series event at CordeValle after opening with 66 and matching the course record Friday with 62.

"I just didn't have it all. I didn't drive it as well as I did" Friday, Mallinger said. "I think I hit every fairway (Friday), and then (Saturday) I just got off to a weird start. But I hung around there and made some birdies on the back nine that got me back into position. Still got the lead, still got a good spot, and look forward to" today.

He has finished second twice in his seven-year career on tour, losing in a playoff to Bo Van Pelt in Milwaukee in 2009.

"I'm going to still stay aggressive and try to make as many birdies as possible," Mallinger said. "It's going to be a birdie day. I mean, it's supposed to be nice (today)."

Sweden's Jonas Blixt was second after shooting 66.

LPGA: Defending champ Na-yeon Choi of South Korea posted 3-under 68 to maintain a two-shot lead after the rain-interrupted third round of the Sime Darby LPGA Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur. Choi had four birdies and a bogey for 13-under 200. Fellow South Korean Park Inbee was two shots back. Tampa's Cindy LaCrosse (71) was at par 213, and Seminole's Brittany Lincicome (73) was at 4-over 217.

CHAMPIONS: Fred Funk took a one-stroke lead over Larry Mize in the Greater Hickory Classic in Conover, N.C., shooting his second straight bogey-free 6-under 66. Funk, at 12-under 132, has gone 42 holes without a bogey since the 13th hole Sunday in the final round of the SAS Championship.

OBITUARY: The LPGA Tour said longtime rules official Doug Brecht died at his Oklahoma home after a three-month battle with the West Nile virus. He was 62.

First PGA win in sight 10/13/12 [Last modified: Saturday, October 13, 2012 9:32pm]
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