Cormac Sharvin added a two-under par 70 to his opening 68 to move inside the top-10 ahead of the final round of the historic Jordan Mixed Open presented by Ayla.
The Ardglass professional carded three birdies and just the single dropped shot in Aqaba to continue his bright start to the season after securing a share of 17th at last month’s Kenyan Open.
Sharvin goes into Saturday’s final round in a share of seventh spot on six-under par but eight shots back from Meghan MacLaren’s stunning 36-hole lead.
Unfortunately the news wasn’t so good for Michael Hoey who fell 17 places down the leaderboard into a tie for 35th on minus-two. With Chris Selfridge on the bag, the man from Ballymoney was going along nicely a couple under through 11 but a double bogey seven on 13 would’ve stung and another dropped shot on the way in saw Hoey sign for 73.
Meanwhile, Tramore’s Robin Dawson was unable to recover from a three-over par 75 on day one. Despite posting five birdies on Friday, Dawson returned a seven-over par 79 in a rollercoaster round of golf that brought an abrupt end to his tournament.
Dawson finished alongside Headfort’s Brendan McGovern at 10-over par for the tournament – a full ten shots outside the cut mark.
It’s all about MacLaren atop the board though as she picked up where she left off by carding a second consecutive 65 to take a two-shot lead into the final round.
The Englishwoman, who is a champion for the strength of the women’s professional game, has carded 15 birdies and only one bogey through two rounds as her game continues to personify her larger message to the golfing world.
Sitting on 14-under par, the 23-year-old will look to make history as the first champion in mixed professional golf.
A win would be her second victory of the year and add to her Solheim Cup points total, after she successfully defended her Women’s NSW Open title in February.
“There’s a lot of other stuff going on, and I’m proud of the position all three Tours have put themselves in, and proud for golf as a whole for this tournament, but tomorrow is going to be completely about my own game and trying to get the best score possible out there.
“It looks like a pretty even split with all the players making the cut, which would have been exactly what the Tour representatives and the people setting the course up would have wanted, and with a player from each Tour in the last group, they couldn’t have written it any better than that.
“I think it’s a testament to the amount of research that has gone into it and that the people running the tournament know about golf. This isn’t just some gimmick, like ‘oh let’s see if this works.’“There’s been a lot of thought into it and I’m happy it’s playing out like this. I think that’s only going to be encouraging for the future.“I think this shows that women’s golf has more than a leg to stand on, and if I can prove a point in that regard, then that’s an added bonus.”
“I work hard because I just love golf, it’s not really anything more than that. I guess working hard is just part of my make-up and it’s part of what makes me a good player. There’s something nice about when there’s not many people around and you know you’re putting work in, but it’s got to be work that is of benefit to you and not everybody does that.”