Craig Ross is on course to secure a Challenge Tour card at worst next season after continuing to handle the pressure in the European Tour Qualifying School in Spain.
The Kirkhill player heads into the fourth round of the marathon test at Lumine Golf in Tarragona in a position to progress to the final 36 holes along with two of his compatriots, Connor Syme and Marc Warren.
Ross , who narrowly missed out on securing a step up to the Challenge Tour off the third-tier PGA EuroPro Tour a fortnight ago, carded an eagle and an eagle and three birdies in a one-under 71. That effort on the Hills Course left him sitting joint-54th on six-under, a shot behind both Syme and Warren after they carded 70 and 73 on the same layout on the third day.
The top 70 and ties after the fourth round in the 156-player field make the cut in the battle for 25 main Tour cards, with those missing out at the end of six rounds earning a Challenge Tour category.
Warren slipped 25 spots after a round that included four bogeys on the same course where he’d shot a five-under 67 the previous day while Syme jumped up 11 spots to sit alongside his countryman in joint-43rd on the back of a six-birdie effort.
Duncan Stewart (69) is joint-76th on four-under, two ahead of Calum Hill (69) in joint-99th, but Chris Robb, Ewen Ferguson, Jack McDonald, James Ross, Daniel Young and Scott Henry are all outside the top 100.
Englishman Daniel Gavins leads on 18-under, two shots ahead of David Borda of Spain, Germany’s Christian Braeunig and Clement Sordet from France.
On the PGA Tour, Matt Kuchar ended more than four years without a victory as he closed with a two-under 69 for a 22-under total and a two-shot success in the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Martin Laird missed the cut in the event at Playa del Carmen in Mexico.
Elsewhere, Vijay Singh rallied from six shots behind with his career-best round on the Champions Tour – a 10-under 61 – that gave him a four-shot victory in the Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Arizona. Bernhard Langer won the Schwab Cup for the fourth time in the last five years.