Waterville’s Mark Murphy and West Waterford’s Seamus Power are just one good round away from qualifying for the second stage of PGA Tour Q-School.
But fellow Munster man Niall Turner and Ulster pair Fergal Rafferty and Thomas Kearney need a miracle to make the top 23 and ties who will progress following Friday’s fourth round at Lantana in Texas in one of 13 first stage qualifiers.
Despite closing with a pair of bogeys, Power posted a 71 to lie tied for 12th on four under with Murphy a shot further back in 15th place after a two-under 70.
Twenty-seven players are on one-under par or better, which is bad news for the other three Irishmen in the 77-man field.
Dungannon man Rafferty slipped back to tied 52nd on four over after a disappointing 77 with Kearney (78) and Turner (75) a further two shots back in joint 60th.
Ballyliffin man Kearney was just one over for the day with seven to play but double bogeyed the 12th and then racked up a triple bogey seven at the 18th.
Tweeting later, Kearney wrote: “78 today. Couple of bad holes cost me. Final round tee time at 10am. Got to go low.”