Castleknock’s David Carey remains in total control atop the board after another good day for Ireland’s Q-School students at Bogogno and Frilford Head.
In Italy, Carey’s four-under par 68 sees him out in front at 21-under par, two clear of Canadian Jimmy Jones in second place and six shots clear of third.
After picking up his first pro win on the Alps Tour last month in a performance that included a spectacular 57, the Dubliner looks odds on to carry that form into Friday’s final round and secure his ticket to Second Stage in November.
With around 20 golfers progressing from each venue to Stage Two, there’s plenty of other Irish in the mix with Conor O’Rourke next best in Bogogno in a share of ninth after posting a 71 on Thursday.
At 11-under par, the Naas pro is in control of his own destiny in Italy, however his clubmate, Jonathan Yates bowed out after missing the 54-hole cut with a disappointing 75 to finish at plus-two. Declan Loftus (+6) was also heading home early from the toughest examination in golf.
Meanwhile back at Frilford Heath, Royal Dublin’s Niall Kearney joined Whitehead’s John Ross Galbraith in a great position with the pair sharing fifth at six-under par.
Kearney fired a two-under par 70 on moving day, one better than Galbraith’s 71 with the pair in prime position to advance to Stage Two heading into Friday’s final test.
Also still in the hunt, albeit in need of a big performance on Friday are both Paul McBride and Dermot McElroy who failed to make any ground on moving day.
McBride finds himself in a tie for 31st at minus-one after a damaging 74 while McElroy’s 73 means he’s languishing a shot further back with both players in need of something special to advance to Stage Two.
Cork’s John Hickey managed an even par 72 but his plus-three total missed the cut by one.
Frilford Heath Scoring HERE
Bogogno Scoring HERE