David Carey lost ground in his Korn Ferry Tour bid after a one-under 70 left him four shots off the cut mark heading into the final round of Stage Two of Q-School.
Carey is seven-under-par and in a share of 32nd place with the current top-18 mark at eleven-under-par.
The Darwin Escapes professional who was an unlikely qualifier for the 150th Open Championship started well, turning in 33 but a torrid back nine left him with a lot of work to do on Friday.
Teeing off just one shot outside the top-18, the 26-year-old birdied two of his first four holes before a birdie on seven cancelled out a dropped shot on five and he appeared to be ticking along nicely.
However, three bogeys in five holes on the back nine might prove damaging at the end of the week.
Carey dropped shots on the tenth, twelfth and fourteenth to move back to five-under-par for the tournament but two late birdies on 16 and 18 have kept his hopes just about alive.
The leader after 54 holes is Zakhai Brown on sixteen-under after a blistering 64.
Should Carey qualify he will miss the second stage of DP World Tour Q-School.