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Colsaerts firmly in contention in California

ESPN staff
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Nicolas Colsaerts is hoping to earn a two-year exemption for the PGA Tour © Getty Images
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Nicolas Colsaerts boosted his hopes of earning a PGA Tour card for next season after posting a second round 68 at the Frys.com Open in California.

The Ryder Cup rookie, who has climbed to No. 35 in the rankings from outside the world's top 150 in a little over a year, has received a sponsor's exemption for the tournament in a bid to qualify for the 2013 PGA Tour.

Needing to finish the equivalent of 125th on the money list, the Belgian, who is currently sitting in 120th, hit five birdies and two bogeys to move to nine-under at CordeValle Golf Club.

"This is all new for me, but every bit of taste that I get when I come over here and play is wonderful," Colsaerts said. "It would be stupid to think that I wouldn't like to play over here."

Colsaerts is five shots behind second-round leader John Mallinger, who equalled the course record with a stunning bogey-free 62. The American raced to a four-stroke lead, sinking four birdies and an eagle on the back nine.

Mallinger subsequently surged past Colsaerts, as well as Billy Horschel - who shot a 65 to move to 10-under, and Jhonattan Vegas - who also moved to 10-under. Overnight leader Nick O'Hern remains in contention after finishing his second round at nine-under along with Scott Dunlap.

Englishman Greg Owen is two shots further back on seven-under after carding a 69, while compatriot Brian Davis narrowly made the cut after finishing the day on one-under.

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