Gareth Maybin’s bid to keep his European Tour card looks certain to go right to the wire.
The Ballyclare golfer made the cut with nothing to spare in the South African Open and barring a weekend surge, his fate will be decided at the final event of the season in Hong Kong next week.
The Top 118 on the money list will retain their cards and Maybin is 118th this week and scrambling for his tour survival.
The 31-year old was four-under par for the tournament with four to play at Serengeti Golf Club after carding 13 pars and a birdie.
But he only just made the two under par cut when he bogeyed the 15th and 18th to post a one-over par 73.
That left him tied for 56th and nine strokes adrift of Scotland’s Steven O’Hara, who is also battling for his tour card.
The 2001 Walker Cup winner, a lowly 134th on the money list, fired a second round 68 at Serengeti to lead by a shot from twice winner Retief Goosen and his fellow South African Merrick Bremner on 11 under.
Unless he finishes in the top five to earn himself a place in next week’s Hong Kong Open, this is O’Hara’s last opportunity to keep his Tour card.
Several other players in the field are also involved in the ferocious scramble for tour survival.
Scotland’s Lloyd Saltman, a team mate of Rory McIlroy’s in the 2007 Walker Cup and 136th on the standings, moved up to joint eighth on seven under with a 68, while former Ryder Cup player Phillip Price (117th) is alongside Ernie Els and 2008 Ryder Cup player Oliver Wilson in 14th place on six under.