Chris Doak was the pick of the Scots on day three of the Apulia San Domenico Grand Final, carding a four under par 67 to move into a tie for sixth.
Doak is tenth in the Challenge Tour rankings and needs a strong performance in the season’s final tournament to ensure he finishes in the top 11 who gain exemption to category ten on the European Tour next season.
Six birdies and two bogeys certainly helped his cause at San Domenico Golf and, at 11-under- par overall, he is six shots off the lead held by Joachim B Hansen.
After making a superb up-and-down for par at the last, he said: “I played nicely again today. I holed some good putts and I drove the ball very well. It was a great par to finish. I was playing my second shot out of a divot and it just flew out the back of the green.
“I’m trying not to think too much about the rankings – that’s when you start to feel the pressure. I’m just concentrating on playing well and the rest will take care of itself.”
Raymond Russell is another Scot in need of a big result to improve on his current position of 22nd in the rankings, one spot shy of promotion to the European Tour. The 40 year-old signed for a one-under 70 to move to nine-under and tied 16th.
It was a frustrating day for Scott Henry, however, as he carded a one-over-par 72 to slip back to three-under for the tournament. “It was just lazy, rubbish golf,” he admitted. “It’s really difficult and frustrating when you’re so far away from the lead. I just kept making silly mistakes. Tomorrow is another day, though, so hopefully I can finish on a high note and then get home for a nice break after a long, hard season.”
Andrew McArthur is also on three-under-par after finding some form to card a four-under-par 67.
Hansen entered the season’s final tournament guaranteed a European Tour card for next season as he lay in eighth place in the rankings, but victory at San Domenico Golf could send him past current leader Kristoffer Broberg.
He took a huge step towards realising that dream after a round which included five birdies and one bogey.