The Yorkshire duo of Daniel Gavins and Chris Hanson are one good round away from regaining their playing privileges on the European Tour.
Leeds’s Gavins sits in a tie for eighth after five of six rounds of Qualifying School Final Stage in Spain, with Huddersfield’s Hanson one shot back on 17-under-par in a tie for 10th.
The top 25 and ties after Thursday’s final round earn Tour cards for next season.
Gavins led after rounds three and four but went backwards yesterday with a 73 while Hanson fired a 67.
Gavins, 27, was last on the European Tour in 2016 while Hanson has played at the elite level the last three years.
Joe Dean (Hallamshire) shot a 67 on Wednesday, Nick McCarthy (Moortown) fired a 69 and Jonathan Thomson (Rotherham) posted a 70 but all three would need to shoot in the low 60s on Thursday to have any chance of gatecrashing the top 25.
Kurt Kitayama, Romain Langasque and Zander Lombard lead the way at Qualifying School Final Stage after day five, which saw several players make crucial moves into the all-important top 25.
Lombard, who began the day in a tie for tenth place on 14 under par, dropped a shot on his opening hole but rebounded with a birdie on the next and seven more as he marched towards a seven under par 64 and a share of the lead.
France’s Langasque, who came close to earning his European Tour card through the Challenge Tour this year, kept his scorecard clean all the way around the Lakes Course at Lumine Golf Club, and now with only one round to go, appears poised to make a return to Europe’s top tier.
Kitayama will be in hot pursuit of his second Q-School win this year after topping the field at First Stage in France a month ago, and since then the American has been remarkably consistent, only carding three rounds in the 70s across the 13 Q-School rounds he has played thus far.
With the decisive final round of the marathon Q-School looming, Scotland’s Marc Warren has positioned himself in a familiar spot following a five under par round of 66, but sitting one shot outside the top 25, he will need to continue to score well if he is to return to the European Tour.
Anders Hansen, the oldest player in the Final Stage field, is proving the value of experience. Following a frustrating fourth round yesterday, the 48 year old hit the range for an extended practice session at a time when peers 20 years his junior were resting.
The Dane found what he was looking for, and his six under par 65 today has placed him in a tie for 15th place.
At the end of play tomorrow, the top 25 and ties will all earn their European Tour cards for the 2019 season, with the benchmark, a three-way tie for 24th place, currently sitting at 15 under par.