The Island’s Paul McBride is in prime position to reach the Second Stage of Korn Ferry Tour Qualifying School after an uneventful third round in Kannapolis, North Carolina.
The Dubliner, who opened with a sensational eight-under 63 and led after two rounds, shot a level-par 71 in his third round at The Club at Irish Creek to remain 12-under with one round to play, dropping him into third on the overall leaderboard.
With the top-20 and ties qualifying for the next stage, McBride has a relatively comfortable six-shot buffer heading into Friday’s final round, however he will be keen to finish the event in style.
A strong fourth day would have him in contention to finish top of the standings, with Daniel Wetterich and Patrick Cover leading at 13-under, however, unlike an ordinary event, winning would provide no additional benefits at the next stage.
It was a solid day for McBride, who carded 16 pars in his round, the only two aberrations being a birdie at the sixth and a bogey on the 12th as he kept himself in the ideal spot to keep his Tour hopes alive.
Meanwhile, fellow Dubliner Conor Purcell is also well-positioned to make it through, however he will need to break into the top-20 as he sits five-under after three rounds, one back of the cut mark.
The Portmarnock man shot a two-under 69 in his third round, featuring five birdies, a double-bogey and a bogey, to put himself right in contention to progress.
However, in the qualifier at West Palm Beach, Florida, Paul Murphy will need something spectacular in order to reach the Second Stage as he needs to make up at least eight shots – and probably more – to make the cut.
Murphy recorded his third consecutive one-over 73 of the week at The Breakers Rees Jones to drop to three-over, with the top-20 mark currently sitting at five-under, meaning it will take a low-60s round to bring the Rosslare man into contention.
Holywood’s Tom McKibbin is already into the Second Stage of Q-School – which will be held across five different venues next month – after he progressed from last week’s qualifier in Maricopa, Arizona.