Mallinger carded seven birdies in addition to an eagle on the par-5 15th hole and leads by four shots over Billy Horschel and Jhonattan Vegas. A runner-up in January at the Humana Challenge, Mallinger has recorded only one top-10 finish in 20 subsequent starts this season and still seeks his first career PGA Tour victory.
Currently playing with only conditional status on the PGA Tour, Horschel carded a 6-under 65 Friday to take a big step toward securing playing status for 2013. The former University of Florida standout is currently 147th on the money list and is in need of a high finish this week to jump into the top 125 with only two events remaining.
Another player looking to cement his 2013 status is European Ryder Cup star Nicolas Colsaerts, who shot a 3-under 68 and will begin Saturday tied for fourth alongside first-round leader Nick O'Hern, five shots behind Mallinger. Entering the week 120th on the PGA Tour conditional money list, Colsaerts hopes to remain inside the top 125 by season's end to ensure full-time playing status on both the PGA and European tours for next year.
Playing together for the first 36 holes, two of the field's elder statesmen posted solid rounds Friday as 48-year-old Davis Love III carded a 4-under 67, only to be bettered by 49-year-old Vijay Singh, who shot a 5-under 66. Both players will begin play Saturday at 6 under, T-14 and eight shots behind Mallinger.