Mallinger leads Pebble Beach Invitational |

Mallinger leads Pebble Beach Invitational

PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. (AP) – John Mallinger, no longer fully exempt on the PGA Tour after finishing 133rd on the money list this year, birdied five of his last six holes at Pebble Beach for 7-under 65 and a one-stroke lead in the Pebble Beach Invitational.

Mallinger had nine birdies and two bogeys in the second round to reach 9-under 135 in the 76-player event that features male and female professionals.

“I pretty much made everything out there,” said Mallinger, third twice in the PGA Tour’s Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. “I just always feel comfortable here. It’s like home.”

PGA Tour winner Matt Bettencourt, the first-round leader after a 64 at Del Monte, had a 72 at Spyglass Hill to drop into a tie for second with two-time Champions Tour winner Russ Cochran and four-time LPGA Tour champion Candie Kung. Cochran had a 65, and Kung shot a 68, both at Del Monte.

“I played pretty well, but I didn’t hit it below the hole,” said Bettencourt, the Reno-Tahoe Open winner in July for his first PGA Tour title. “That’s the key at Spyglass. “The greens were firm and fair and that’s what makes it a great course.”

D.A. Points was fifth at 7 under after a 66 at Pebble Beach.

Annika Sorenstam, competing for one of the rare times since her retirement in 2008, shot a 72 at Spyglass Hill, leaving her six strokes back at 3 under.

Twenty-five players shot sub-par rounds, nine fewer than in the opening round. Del Monte produced 17 of the under-par scores in the second round.

Kevin Streelman, who had a first-round 69 at Del Monte, was disqualified after signing an incorrect scorecard at Pebble Beach.

Defending champion Mark Brooks, the seven-time PGA Tour winner and only three-time Pebble Beach Invitational champion, will likely moss the cut after shooting a 78 to finish at 11 over.

The top 40 and ties following the third round will advance to the final round Sunday at Pebble Beach. The winner will receive $60,000 from the $300,000 purse.

The tournament is sponsored by Callaway Golf.