Clandeboye's Jonny Caldwell continued his impressive start to the European Tour Qualifying School Finals at PGA Golf de Catalunya in Spain. Live scoring
The former Walker Cup star, 24, fired a two-under par 69 on the Red Course at the Girona venue to share eighth place at the half-way stage of the six-round marathon.
At eight-under par, Caldwell is nine strokes adrift of leader Oskar Henningsson of Sweden, who added a 65 to previous rounds of 66 and 68 to lead on 17-under par.
But the Swede is just three strokes clear of England's Danny Willett, who hit an eagle, seven birdies and just one bogey in a sizzling eight-under par 63 on the Red Course.
Three of Ireland's four hopefuls are inside the top 30 and ties who will earn European Tour cards at the end of six rounds.
While Caldwell is tied for eighth, Derry's Michael McGeady moved up to tied 15th on seven-under par thanks to his third successive 69.
The winner of this season's Wales Challenge, McGeady started on the back nine at the Red Course and picked up three early birdies before taking a double bogey seven at the par-five 18th.
But he came home in two-under par, sandwiching a bogey at the eighth between birdies at the seventh and ninth to keep his European Tour dream alive.
Former British Amateur champion Michael Hoey slipped from sixth to 23rd after a level par 71 on the Red Course left him on six-under.
After starting with a birdie at the par-five 10th, he bogeyed the 13th but then birdied the 15th, 16th and 18th to turn in 33.
At nine-under par, he was challenging for the top places but started back with a double bogey at the first and a bogey at the second.
A birdie at the seventh left him needing two pars for a sub-par round but while he parred the eighth, he dropped a shot at the ninth.
Royal County Down's Simon Thornton is just inside the top 70 and ties who will make the 72-hole cut after a battling 72 on the Green Course.
The Yorkshireman dropped four shots in his first five holes but came home in 33 with birdies at the 10th, 14th and 15th.