John Mallinger was born Sept. 25, 1979 in Escondido, Calif., a suburb of San Diego. He attended Long Beach State University, graduating with a degree in marketing in 2002. While in college, he was named to the All-Big West Conference team for four consecutive seasons from 1998 to 2001. He turned professional after graduation in 2002.
Mallinger's early professional career included stints on the Hooter, Nationwide, and Canadian tours, as well as occasional PGA appearances. By 2006, he was playing on a total of seven different tours. Highlights of his early career included several top-10 finishes on the Nationwide Tour. He earned his PGA Tour card by finishing in a tie for 13th place at the 2006 Q-School.
2007 was Mallinger's first full year on the PGA tour. He finished second among all rookies and made the cut in 62 percent of his starts. Highlights of that year included achieving a third-place finish at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am where he shot 14 under par. For the year, he ended up in the top 10 four times and earned a total of $1,681,764.
The following year, Mallinger's earnings dipped slightly to $1,201,433. However, his ability to make the cut increased to 69 percent, and he also improved his scoring average from 71.09 to 70.48. For the year, he ended with four top-10 finishes, including another third at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, this time in a tie, and a third at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.
As of August 2009, Mallinger's earnings for the year stood at $1,623,190. He achieved his best career finish to date when he lost in a playoff at the U.S. Bank Championships in Milwaukee on July 19 but still managed to earn $432,000. His biggest payday of the year came at The Players Championship in May, where a third-place finish earned him $551,000. As of Aug. 10, he was in 42nd place in the FedEx Cup rankings.