Olivia Mehaffey slipped four strokes behind England’s Meghan MacLaren, but remained on track to win her Ladies European Tour card in the Q-School Final Qualifier in Spain.
ie for third place overnight, the Co Down star (24) managed two bogeys and a birdie in a one in 74 in the third lap on the southern course of La Manga Resort to slide to a tie for ninth on two under the normal.
She’s still three shots in the top 20 and tied for who will receive LET cards after Monday’s fifth round.
But Clandeboye’s Victoria Craig is set to miss the 72-hole cut for the first 65 and ties on Sunday after an 82-of-nine on the south course left her tied for 120th of 19.
MacLaren (27), whose mother Mary is a member of the Irish senior women’s squad, earned a par 73 card to lead in one stroke of six under Sweden’s Linn Grant and France’s Manon Gidali.
“It wasn’t as windy today, so I think it played a bit easier – maybe not according to my score – but it was a bit more comfortable there,” said MacLaren said.
“I hit a lot of good irons today and I had control of the golf ball, I wasn’t as confident on the greens as I was, but it’s not a wrong place to be. “
Grant (22), who got his LPGA card at the Q-Series less than a week ago, rolled a 68 under-three on the north course to share second place with Gildali, who achieved a level par 73 on the south.
“It was stable there today, I was without a bogey which is always nice, and it was just stable golf,” said the Swede, who was a former Mehaffey teammate at Arizona State. “There were a few putts that just didn’t happen but other than that it was a good day.
“I think the southern course is the most difficult. Before the second round I hadn’t played it but now I have that experience and I’m going to focus on the fairways and greens as usual and we’ll see what happens tomorrow.
The first 20 and tied after five rounds will win category 11 membership.
Players finishing 21-50 and tied will be eligible for LET membership in Category 15 with Category 18 membership for those making the 72-hole cut.
Those who miss the cut will be classified in category 18 in order of arrival.