Olivia Mehaffey is still inside the cut mark as it stands, however she slid down the leaderboard after struggling to break out of a run of pars on the third day at the Ladies European Tour Q-School in La Manga, Spain.
The 24-year-old Tandragee woman only had one birdie and two bogeys in her one-over 74 on the South Course, which drops her down to two-under for the week and to ninth in the standings knowing that only the top-20 earn full category 11 membership on the LET next season.
The cut line currently sits at one-over, so Mehaffey still has a comfortable enough buffer with two rounds to play, however she was far from her best in Saturday’s third round.
Starting the day in third place and out in the final group, the former Arizona State star never got her round kickstarted as she parred 11 of her first 12 holes, the only exception being a bogey on the par-four third.
Mehaffey finally broke her birdie-free run with a four at the par-five 13th to get back to level for the day, but she would close out a frustrating afternoon with one more bogey, at the par-four 15th, to card a 74 and fall off the pace a little.
She’s still only four shots behind leader Meghan MacLaren, who was level-par on day three to stay six-under and one shot clear of Mehaffey’s former college team-mate Linn Grant and France’s Manon Gidali, both of whom are at five-under.
However, with all of the top-20 receiving the same rights next season regardless of their finish, the Irishwoman will be more concerned with the cut mark and, in that regard, she is still on the right side of it and has already proven this week she has much better to offer in her final two rounds.
Meanwhile, Victoria Craig will need an historic final two rounds to get back above the cut line as she signed for her second birdie-free round in a row in a nine-over 82 on the South to drop to 19-over, 18 shots off the pace.
The 24-year-old Royal Belfast ace saw a lot of damage done by back-to-back double-bogeys at the 11th and 12th and she also had five other bogeys around that on a forgettable day in La Manga that leaves her 120th on the leaderboard.