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Mallinger the latest 54-hole leader to struggle

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This has been the Year of the Comeback on the PGA Tour.

Or, viewed another way, The Year of the Struggling Frontrunner.

Incredibly, the third-round leader has gone on to win only 15 of 42 stroke-play events this season.

Sunday at the Frys.com Open, John Mallinger merely became the latest third-round leader to fail to seal the deal on the final day. Staked to a two-shot lead at CordeValle, he made six bogeys in the final round and finished in a four-way tie for fourth, two shots behind winner Jonas Blixt.

The trouble started early for Mallinger. He made five bogeys on his opening nine to go out in 38, and though he made a short birdie on 15 to move within a shot of the lead, he was unable to birdie the drivable 17th or short 18th. He shot 1-over 72.

Even with the disappointing finish, Mallinger, 33, is now a lock to keep his card. His T-4 moved him from 98th to 78th on the money list, with $1,146,852.

Mallinger last held a share of the 54-hole lead at the 2009 Byron Nelson Championship, where he eventually finished T-6. His best result this season is a T-2 at the Humana Challenge.

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